Kopecky impresses and charms

After countless Iljoooo chants over the past week, the Ghent crowd added ‘Lotte! Lotte!’ to its repertoire on Saturday. Belgian cycling’s leading lady dominated in the women’s event.

Kopecky won Friday’s points race, defending her lead into Saturday night’s scratch, elimination and points race. In the scratch a tense three-way sprint brought the decider, with Kopecky third behind Marit Raaijmakers and Daniek Hengeveld.

In the elimination, the discipline on which Kopecky holds both the world and European title, the winner of the Strade Bianche and Tour of Flanders lived up to expectations and beat Raaijmakers in the final sprint.

Kopecky also won the final event, the second points race, by quickly taking a lap. Raaijmakers followed suit, teeing up a deciding final sprint. Kopecky proved the strongest, taking her third win in four events. Following all the ‘Iljooo, Iljooo’ chants for Keisse, the enthralled crowd switched to chanting ‘Lotte! Lotte!’.