Julia Kopecky extends lead with solo victory in second stage of Tour de Feminin

Julia Kopecky displayed strong performance and strategy in the second stage of the Tour de Feminin, securing her second consecutive stage win through a solo attack. The AG Insurance-Soudal NXTG rider initiated her decisive move 6 kilometres from the finish, ultimately crossing the line 17 seconds ahead of the pursuing group. This victory further solidified her lead in the overall standings.

The stage began with a solo effort by 19-year-old Mirre Knaven, also of AG Insurance-Soudal NXTG. Knaven launched an attack before the first climb at kilometre 13 and demonstrated her strength by collecting maximum points in two additional climbs and two intermediate sprints. At one point, she held a lead of over two minutes on the peloton.

Despite Knaven’s effort, she was eventually reeled in before the final climb, primarily due to the concerted efforts of the Dukla Praha team. Exhausted, Knaven was subsequently dropped, finishing 3 minutes and 37 seconds behind. Nevertheless, her performance earned her the best climber’s jersey.

Kopecky, having conserved energy thanks to her teammate’s breakaway, capitalised on this advantage in the final kilometres. “When we caught Mirre Knaven, the front started to split, so I tried my luck about six kilometres from the finish, and it worked out,” Kopecky remarked. “The team is working for me, so I want to win.” At just 19 years old, she is making a significant impact, following in the footsteps of her brothers, Tomáš and Matyáš, who are also professional cyclists.

Femke de Vries of GT Krush Rebellease secured second place, with Eilidh Shaw of Alba Development Road Team finishing third. Czech riders Barbora Němcová and Nela Slaníková from Dukla Praha also performed commendably, finishing tenth and twelfth respectively.

Kopecky’s lead in the general classification has now extended to 44 seconds over Belgium’s Lore De Schepper and one minute over Manon de Boer. In addition to leading the general classification, Kopecky also tops the points competition, the U23 category, and holds the jersey for the best Czech rider.

2024 Tour de Feminin Stage 2 result

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All photo credits: Josef Vaishar