At the end of the rainbow? Victory, of course!

Elisa Balsamo wins her final race in the rainbow jersey and Elisa Longo Borghini seals 2nd GC in La Vuelta

Elisa Balsamo bid farewell to the rainbow jersey by winning the final stage of Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta. It was her 9th win of the season and came in her final race ahead of the World Championships in Australia in two weeks.

As expected, it was a fast and furious race on the circuits in the center of Madrid, and it was a full team effort to help tame the attacks, followed by a blistering lead-out from Elisa Longo Borghini.

At 600 meters, Elisa shouted at me to go. So I just went and hoped for the best. And then I saw a bullet passing me! It was Elisa and it was the best feeling to see her winning in Madrid.

-Elisa Longo Borghini

We didn’t want to let the breakaway gain more than one minute, and Shirin and Amalie worked very hard to chase, and Lucinda and Elisa did a great lead out. It was the perfect day for us.

- Elisa Balsamo

I really wanted to win today, the last day of this incredible season in the rainbow jersey. I won the first race, in February, at the Setmana Valenciana, and with today's win it's like I'm closing a circle. Today's is a special day, full of emotions. Madrid was a crazy setting.

- Elisa Balsamo

I am extremely happy. This is my last race with the jersey and there is no better way to end such a wonderful season for me. Today we really were the strongest team, and I have to say a big thanks you to my team.

-Elisa Balsamo

While the final day belonged to Balsamo, the week was all Elisa Longo Borghini. From wearing the leader’s jersey after the Team’s win in Stage 1, her second-place finish in the queen stage put her into a firm second in the general classification. Longo Borghini added a thrilling third-place finish in Stage 4 after attacking the uphill finish.

Trek-Segafredo added the mountains jersey, won by Lucinda Brand, to their collection this week, and finished all five stages in the top three.

My 2nd place in the GC means a lot to me. I am riding really strong in the last part of the season. I have been consistent all year, except for the spring, and I hope to end the season well. I have some races I am looking forward to, like the World Championships in Wollongong and Tour de Romandie. It’s a good result, and it shows I have form.

- Elisa Longo Borghini

We were motivated for today because we knew we could win with Elisa and this was her last race in the rainbow jersey so we really wanted to honor it. Of course, we also know that she can still win again the World Championships.

-Elisa Longo Borghini.

Now I can see the World Championship on the horizon. The road race is still two weeks away, there is still time to work on the last details. I'm going to Australia with the goal of trying to regain the rainbow jersey, which I've grown fond of!

- Elisa Balsamo