Niels Albert calls out: “Lotte, that hour at the World Cup is still possible”


Former Belgian and world champion Niels Albert followed the Belgian championship at home on the screen. Yesterday you read his analysis of the men’s BK. Today he looks back on that of the women. Albert was particularly charmed by Lotte Kopecky’s performance. He hopes that she will also enjoy the World Cup in Ostend.

For Niels Albert it was a BK without major surprises. “Or at least one: that Lotte Kopecky can keep putting Sanne under pressure for so long, I thought was very clever. Do not forget that as a road cyclist she does not have much experience in cyclocross. This was only her seventh cross in which she started. She can still make a lot of technical progress. But yesterday she proved once again that she has a big engine. ”

“I hear that she is considering a World Cup participation, but I am not sure that it will cause damage to her road and track season. After all, the Games in Tokyo are important. I hope she still takes that hour. She can – without sticking to a result – come off the corner. It will be a difficult cross where she can still get her right. ”

“It’s true they don’t sand experience but you shouldn’t overdo that aspect either. The sand of Ostend is not the sand of Koksijde. I think the ladies will mainly walk along the coastline of Ostend. I don’t see many women driving through that passage. Then that disadvantage may be limited for Lotte. I am already making a warm appeal and hope that she will get the green light from her entourage… ”

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What else did Albert notice? “Well, I don’t want to be too critical of our Belgian ladies. Let me say that we mainly saw confirmation of what we already knew. I don’t think I will do any injustice to Sanne Cant when I say that she is less dominant than a few years ago. That the gap with the rest has narrowed. But at the same time she continues to get the most out of her career. ”

The BK podium for the women in Meulebeke – photo: Cor Vos © 2021

“Twelve titles in a row… I already told you in my analysis of the men that it is not easy to compete for the title every year. Either the course is not tailor-made, or you are just not top, or one of your competitors has a super day. Cant succeeded twelve times in a row. Then you can say that the opposition is not satisfactory, but you can also compliment Cant on that impressive run. ”

“Alicia Franck and Laura Verdonschot came third and fourth. However, I have long believed in Franck. And she can really do something. She has competed on level for a few races. I even thought for a moment that she must be able to make life difficult for Sanne in Meulebeke. On the other hand, it turns out to be a bit too changeable. ”

The most disappointing performance came from Laura Verdonschot. “I don’t really understand”, Albert proposes and weighs his words. “In the past few years I have occasionally seen outliers from Laura. Performance of which you think: she can do it. She can ride a bike, hey. She is technically gifted, can steer, … She has proven that. But the constant stays away. I can only advise Laura to stand in front of the mirror and wonder why. Maybe her bike is just that little bit too small to take that step higher… ”

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