Lotte Kopecky grabs the European gold in chaotic elimination race

Belgium's Lotte Kopecky has claimed the golden medal in the women's cycle track elimination race at the European championships in Munich. Kopecky kept cool in a chaotic race that had to be suspended for a while after a crash. 

Kopecky, a 26-year-old that had her major breakthrough on the road this spring, started as one of the outsiders. She knew she had to move past Italy's Letizia Paternoster, who had denied her the Gold at the latest World Championships. However, Paternoster got involved in a heavy crash , the second of the race, and the consequences were so heavy that the race was suspended for more than half an hour. Three riders had to abandon. 

After the restart, it looked as if Kopecky was not fully concentrated. She almost got eliminated, but survived and decided to take the initiative herself. In the end, Britain's Pfeiffer Georgi was her last remaining challenger for the European title. Before the final lap Kopecky upped the pace to such an extent that Georgi had to leave a gap which she couldn't close again. 

Kopecky took the European title in style. "I had to find my concentration again after the break due to the crashes. I hope everybody is okay. In the final laps, I knew I didn't have to wait too long." 

It's Belgium's second medal at the European Championships, after Robbe Ghys' silver in the points race (track cycling). 


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