Kopecky looking for a solid return to Hageland

06 June 2024

As each race of the 2024 season rolls by Team Novo Nordisk’s breakout star Matyas Kopecky takes another step forward on his quest to achieve his dreams of becoming a top classics rider and a return to Dwars Door Het Hageland this weekend gives the 21-year-old another opportunity to improve on last year’s result.

After an impressive top ten in his debut appearance at the event sometimes known as the “Strade Bianche of Belgium’’ with its inclusion of various gravel sections that combine with the cobbles and classic bergs of the countryside of the Flemish Brabant, the young Czech feels he can go better this time around.

“Obviously it’s easy to say beforehand that I’m targeting a better result,” began Kopecky. “Actually doing it… is another matter, especially in a race as technically difficult and unpredictable as Dwars Door Het Hageland, but I said after the finish last year that I could have done better than tenth. This time around I’m aiming for higher and top five would be amazing and we believe that’s achievable.”

There’s nothing wrong with aiming high and Kopecky has a strong team to support him, with Australian Declan Irvine returning to the road, buzzing after an impressive performance at the marquee Unbound Gravel event in Kansas last weekend and will be joined by young Italian prospect Alessandro Perracchione and kiwi Hamish Beadle.

“Matyas produced a very good ride at last year’s race,” said General Manager Vassili Davidenko. “Both Matyas and the team in general have progressed further this year and our young riders are doing very well, and the goal is an even better result this time around.”

It won’t be easy, it’s a very challenging race with the combination of different surfaces and terrain before an extremely tough finish at the citadel in Diest. The final cobbled climb of All Saints Hill is a leg breaker, and we need to do everything we can to support Matays as deep into the race as possible.”

British pair Sam Brand and Nathan Smith complete the team alongside local Belgian rider Quinten De Graeve.

“I really enjoyed the race last year,” concluded Kopecky. “It’s pretty epic with the gravel, cobbles and the brutal finale in Diest and getting a good result on Saturday would be the best way to go into next weeks Baloise Belgium Tour.”

Team Novo Nordisk at Dwars door Het Hagaland, Saturday 8th June:

Hamish Beadle (NZ, 26)

Sam Brand (GBR, 33)

Quinten De Graeve (BEL, 23)

Declan Irvine (AUS, 25)

Matyas Kopecky (CZ, 21)

Alessandro Perracchione (IT, 19)

Nathan Smith (GBR, 23)

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