Lotte Kopecky blasts to top of Citadel for Dwars door het Hageland victory

DIEST BELGIUM JUNE 10 Lotte Kopecky of Belgium and Team SD Worx celebrates at finish line as race winner during the 3rd Duracell Dwars Door Het Hageland 2023 Womens Elite a 128km one day race from Aarschot to Diest on June 10 2023 in Diest Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Lotte Kopecky of Team SD Worx celebrates at finish line as winner of third edition of Dwars door het Hageland for elite women (Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) blasted up the final 500 metres to the Citadel of Diest final and won Dwars door het Hageland for elite women on Saturday. Christina Schweinberger (Fenix-Deceuninck) trailed on the stiff cobbled climb with double-digit gradients for second, while Pfeiffer Georgi (Team DSM) took third. 

Lieke Nooijen (Parkhotel Valkenburg) held on for fourth place, nine seconds behind Kopecky, with the rest of the peloton strung out behind to conclude the 128km one-day race. Of the 130 starters, 59 did not finish.

Kopecky was the favourite for the third edition of the elite women’s race held from Aarschot to Diest, with seven hills and 11 sectors of cobblestones. Halfway through the dry and dusty contest, a group of about 36 riders remained together at the front. 

As the bunch neared the final circuit, and the size was now under 20 riders, last year’s runner-up Schweinberger tried to push the pace. Once across the second pass of the Allerheiligenberg with under 20km to go, the Fenix-Deceuninck rider and Georgia were joined by Kopecky as well as Barbara Guarischi (Team SD Worx), Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ) and two more Fenix riders, Julie de Wilde and Aniek van Alphen. 

The Fenix duo of De Wilde and Van Alphen tried to deliver Schweinberger to the victory before the Grasbos climb 6km from the finish, but Kopecky proved too strong on the final climb.


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Jackie Tyson
North American Production editor

Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp for several minor league teams. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road and gravel rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).

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