The Italian champion won the fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia Donne, presenting the first of (hopefully) a long series of successes to the new team
There are many reasons that make Elisa Longo Borghini’s second victory in the Giro Donne’s history, which came in Borgo Val di Taro (Parma), so special. The first obviously concerns the new jersey that, for the first time, is wet with champagne. The second is about the fact that she has succeeded in the never simple feat of being a prophet in her homeland. The third, finally, is about how it came about: did you realize that we have a new sprinter in the team?!
I feel a ‘Lidl’ emotional, especially because I have the Tricolore and I’m racing in my country. I’m always proud to wear this jersey and to win here is something special and unique. Doing it in front of a rider I respect a lot, like Annemiek van Vleuten, made it even greater. It’s amazing for me, for the team and also for our new sponsor.
After the successes at the Italian championships (both TT and road, in case someone forgot), on the roads of the Giro, Longo Borghini confirmed the signs of growth, after a troubled spring from a health point of view.
Today’s race is the proof that the Italian champion, on her 40th career success, is once again super-competitive. And the road to Olbia, where the Giro Donne will end, is still long and could still offer new chances for both her and her teammates.
We always race to win, we make teamwork and aggressive racing our trademark. I said this at the beginning and I repeat it now: we are here to make a great Giro.
The win in Elisa’s words
My action wasn’t planned, to be honest. We started the stage with the idea of saving as much energy as possible in view of tomorrow’s hard stage while, of course, remaining attentive. When I saw Annemiek attacking, I felt the instinct to follow and see what would happen. We caught Veronica Ewers and went full to the line. From the 5km to go sign onwards, I just focused on the best way to win the stage. Curious, but nice, that my last two victories came in sprints. Ina [Teutenberg] was great in leading me from the team car. The rest, it was just my strong desire to win.
Tomorrow will be an important stage for the GC, but let’s go step by step. Now, I want to enjoy the moment. Being there, on the GC podium, makes me happy, but my thoughts on the eve of the race have not changed. I want to live the Giro day by day. So many stages hide dangers. The keyword is to be ready and, as for the rest, we will see as we go along.
Delivering the first victory for Lidl-Trek makes me proud. I would like to thank all my teammates, the staff and our manager Luca Guercilena, who is at home right now: I hope I made him happy. We started this new chapter in our team history with great motivation and ambitious goals. And the new sponsor is as enthusiastic as we are for this new adventure. Being the first to raise the arms to the sky is certainly special.