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by Shane Stokes
February 16, 2018
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Gearing up to try to defend their title at the upcoming championships in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, Jolien D’hoore and Lotte Kopecky are nearing the end of their first year as world Madison champions. The discipline may have been part of the men’s worlds programme since 1995, but the equivalent for women only occurred last year.
D’hoore and Kopecky duly won, thus becoming the first women to hold the title. The former said she became extra psyched last year when she learning that the event would be part of the Olympic and world championship programmes. “I remember I was riding the Women’s Tour in the UK when after the race I received so many messages about the news. I was over the moon. This was huge for women’s cycling.”
Taking the rainbow jersey was huge, not least because it was the first time the gold medal was up for grabs. “It feels like we made our mark in the history books, although at this point we’re just happy to have taken a rainbow jersey,” she said. “But later, after our career, we will look back at this with another view I guess.”
She has been riding Madisons since she was 15 years of age, saying that in Belgium the riders grow up with it. “I used to go to the Netherlands to ride Madisons together with boys at that age. So, once the Madison was a new event for us, it wasn’t that hard to pick up our Madison skills again. Thanks to Kenny De Ketele and Moreno De Pauw, we’re still getting better and improving our technique. We practice the Madison [at the end of] each training [session] for a couple of minutes.”
Still, despite that head start, she said that there is no guarantee that she and Kopecky will defend their title. “Everybody has a chance to step up. It’s a fairly new event and the evolution in every team compared to last year is huge. The level will become higher each year and I’m looking forward to a race where everything can happen.”