Lotte Kopecky and Jasper Philipsen voted best Flemish cyclists of 2023

The yearly Gala of the Flandrien awards, a celebration of the best Flemish cyclists, took place on Tuesday evening. Fellow cyclists elected Lotte Kopecky best cyclist for the fourth time, while Jasper Philipsen beat Remco Evenepoel in the men's category.

The Flandrien award is given every year, voted by cyclists. Kopecky lived up to her expectations as the big favourite among the female cyclists. She won the trophy for the fourth time in a row, breaking Jolien D'Hoore's record of three consecutive victories.

"It took years of hard work, from me and from the people around me. It's nice to reap the rewards now"

Kopecky, 27, won 14 times on the road last season. Highlights included Omloop het Nieuwsblad, the Tour of Flanders and the opening stage of the Tour de France. In August, she crowned her extraordinary season by becoming world road champion in Glasgow.

"It took years of hard work, from me and from the people around me. It's nice to reap the rewards now," she said. "For the future, the Olympic Games in Paris, both on the track and on the road, and Paris-Roubaix remain my big goals."

Philipsen wins close contest

There was no clear favourite in the men's race. It became a contest between Remco Evenepoel, Flandrien of 2022, and Philipsen, with the 25-year-old coming out on top.

Philipsen was the best sprinter of the cycling season, winning four stages and the green jersey at the Tour de France. He took two stage wins at Tirreno-Adriatico and four at the Tour of Turkey, and impressed with second place in Paris-Roubaix.

"I'm a bit surprised. It's nice when you receive this kind of appreciation from the peloton"

This is the first time Philipsen has won the Flandrien trophy. He succeeds Evenepoel, whose victory in the world time trial championships was not enough to extend his title.

"I'm a bit surprised," Philipsen admitted. "It's nice when you receive this kind of appreciation from the peloton. Riders themselves know best what the sport is like and how tough it can be to race sometimes."


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO DAVID PINTENS

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