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Tour of Flanders: ‘You cannot let them go without fighting’ — reactions from Kopecky, Vollering, Longo Borghini, Van Anrooij

SD Worx went 1-2, but Trek-Segafredo wasn't going to make it easy for them.

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Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx), 1st

“This is really special. I did not expect it. It was very difficult. On the Koppenberg it was very slippery and I had to put a foot on the ground. The question then was whether we should continue driving or whether it would be better to wait.

“However, Marlen Reusser indicated that she was no longer feeling well. She just decided to speed up, and on the Kruisberg I was left alone with Silvia Persico. When you go to the line with Persico, you are never sure. I still wanted to get rid of her.”

On attacking on the Oude Kwaremont:

“After that it was still very difficult. The last part was with a headwind and I couldn’t pedal the power I expected. I wasn’t sure of winning either. I had no idea of ​​the lead and you need certainty. The fact that we are 1 and 2 again today with SD Worx is really perfect. It’s a successful day.”

Demi Vollering (SD Worx), 2nd

Another SD Worx party. (Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

“We are so very good together. Everyone always sacrifices for the strongest. Today it was Lotte. I was just wrong in the wheel in the finale. They didn’t let me pass, after which Marlen [Reusser] started the sprint early. That put me in the perfect position.”

On seeing riders dismount on the Koppenberg:

“If we hadn’t been at the front on the Koppenberg, we would have been behind the times. When I got back to the front of the race myself, I saw that three of us were still ahead. I was very happy with that.”

Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek Segafredo), 3rd

Longo Borghini willed her way to the podium. (Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

“I have to be honest, I would never expect to be third in such a tough edition of De Ronde especially after the forced rest I had to face over the last month. It was a hard time. I lost almost 15 days of preparation due to COVID and when I started training again, I had 15 days without any intensity.

“I started the race with many question marks in my mind and I was fully committed to doing my best for Shirin, the rider who showed she had the best legs for today. That’s why, after the chaos we had on the Koppenberg, I managed to lead the chase to the front group. I didn’t have great feelings for most of the day and doing something useful was the minimum I could do.”

On finishing third:

“I had mixed feelings after the finish line because I was not sure about the result at first but this third place comes with some nice emotions and a lot of satisfaction.

“It was a hard race and SD Worx made it even harder but at one point, you can’t focus too much on their jersey, if not, you don’t play your chances to win. They always show that they are strong and not just with a single rider, but that’s not a good reason to give up and let them go without fighting.”

Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo), 8th

“Lotte Kopecky was really super strong today, but I was too far back on the Koppenberg myself. We came close after that, but Lotte eventually stayed ahead. I hope to return there one day to win. It is a super cool race and it suits me well, but I really need to gain more experience.

“It is important to become stronger and to fight even more for your position. I felt very strong and managed to fight my way back into the race, but it is a good point to take with me to next year.”

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.