Gallery: A Belgian champ’s brilliance at Belgium’s biggest race

by Matt de Neef

photography by Kristof Ramon and Getty Images

The first addition of the Koppenberg. Rain-slicked cobbles on the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg. A whole host of in-form, potential winners. It had all the ingredients for a memorable women’s Ronde van Vlaanderen and that’s exactly what we got.

A month ago Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx) rode to the biggest win of her career at Strade Bianche after being the only rider able to follow the brutal uphill accelerations of Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar). At De Ronde on Sunday, it was a similar story.

Van Vleuten again shredded the field, and again Kopecky was again able to follow, ultimately getting herself in the winning move. The fact she had her teammate Chantal van den Broek-Blaak there for company in that winning move of three sealed the deal.

Van den Broek-Blaak led the trio back into Oudenaard allowing Kopecky to throw everything at the sprint. And with that Kopecky came away with a new biggest moment in her career: winning Belgium’s biggest bike race as Belgian champion.

Here’s how photographer Kristof Ramon saw the 19th edition of the women’s Tour of Flanders.

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