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SD Worx may be down a rider in the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift next summer. But that’s what happens when your road World Champion is also a track star, and it’s an Olympic year.
As the route for the 2024 TDFF was revealed, reigning World Champ Lotte Kopecky announced that a start in the Tour was unlikely, thanks to the Olympic Track Omnium race happening the day prior to the Grand Depart.
Kopecky missing the Tour will certainly crimp SD Worx style—she won the opening stage, finished in the green points jersey, and was second overall in the GC in the 2023 Tour de France Femmes. But SD Worx certainly doesn’t put all of their eggs in one basket: Her teammate Demi Vollering won the whole shebang, and pretty much their entire roster is capable of taking stage wins in the right conditions.
Tough choices for pro cyclists in 2024
In this Olympic year, riders like Kopecky have tough choices to make: Kopecky is a double threat on the road and track, and is likely in contention for some hardware in the track events. But the track racing runs until August 11, 2024 while the Tour de France Femmes starts on the 12th.
But with the Olympics taking place in Paris, it is technically possible to hop from one event immediately into the other! So she hasn’t ruled it out entirely, according to a recent interview with Het Nieuwsblad.
“There is currently no clarity about my participation in the Tour and I will only make that decision very late,” she says. “We will first focus on the spring and only afterwards will we see whether riding the Tour is possible... When I see the course, I definitely want to ride. The fact that the Tour passes through Belgium is also a very nice thing. On the other hand, the Tour is every year while the Olympic Games are only once every four years.”
The issue, she says, isn’t the shift from riding a fixed gear on the track to getting back on the road the next day. It’s the wear and tear on the body that both will cause.
An exceptional route for the 2024 Tour de France Femmes
The Tour has several lengthy stages in 2024, starting with a 124 kilometer stage and with the longest stage coming in at 167 kilometers. With eight stages in total after nearly two weeks of extreme focus on the Olympic Games, it’s impossible to imagine not being mentally and physically exhausted by the end. Kopecky noted that she knows she’ll already be exhausted post-Olympics, and to add another eight days of racing may be too much.
Despite her concerns, Kopecky showed up for the route unveiling for both the men’s and women’s Tours, sitting between Jasper Philipsen and Mark Cavendish for the presentation. She also attended the Velo D’Or 2023 ceremony at Pavillon Gabriel in Paris this week along with Demi Vollering and Marion Rousse.
And look, we’re not usually talking high fashion at Bicycling. But it’s worth shouting out that these three looked freaking fantastic in gowns on the red carpet accepting the awards. You have to love a World Champ who can rock couture and also jump on a beer bus post-race.
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