The Italian is enjoying the final races of the season with a ‘free mind’
It’s been a few years, but Elisa Longo Borghini found her winning ways in Giro dell Emilia once again. Longo Borghini powered up the final climb and unleashed her sprint in the final meters to grab her third victory – first since 2016 – in the ninth edition of the Italian classic.
Trek-Segafredo did not attend the race in 2020 and 2021, last taking the start in 2019 when Longo Borghini finished second to Demi Vollering. After a two-year hiatus, Longo Borghini returned with her Trek-Segafredo team, and this time landed back on top.
“It’s been six years since my last win here and a lot of things have changed since then!” said Longo Borghini. “Of course, obviously, the jersey I wear, but also my level. I am a stronger rider now. It has also changed that I am getting old,” she smiled, “but I hope to be like a fine wine and just get better.”
The 89.7 kilometers of the women’s Giro dell Emilia are not extremely challenging with a flat parcours until the final two-kilometer San Luca climb.
“I prefer a more challenging and harder race, “agreed Longo Borghini. “We usually race more than 90kms and I would like to see maybe two times this final climb. In the end the first part was easy on paper, but we raced it with a fast pace.”
A few breakaway attempts were controlled by the Trek-Segafredo team and, as expected, the race come down to the final climb to the line.
“The Saint Luca climb is a special climb with some steep parts followed by some flatter parts. So a lot depends on how you will face it,” explained Longo Borghini. “The final 100 meters are the secret and it’s important to not start too early. This is what I did. I waited to find the right moment at the end to attack and win the race.”
Rounding the corner to the finish, Longo Borghini crossed the line with enough of a buffer to enjoy the moment.
— Trek-Segafredo (@TrekSegafredo) October 1, 2022
She ended the climb perfectly, but the start did not quite go to plan she explained.
“I lost my teammates’ wheels which was my fault that I was caught behind,” admitted Longo Borghini. “Elisa Balsamo waited for me, but when she tried to lead me out, she is a sprinter and goes really fast! She basically dropped me!” she laughed.
“But my team was really good all race and I need to thank them all. They are always important in every race. Again today they controlled the race when a breakaway went away, setting the pace, and led me into the final climb.”
The Team next lines up in Tre Valli Varesine followed by the inaugural edition of the Tour de Romandie, a three day event added to the women’s WorldTour calendar.
“I am enjoying these last races of the season. I am always really determined when I come to a race with Trek-Segafredo, but I don’t feel any pressure to get results in these last races, so my mind is free. We can really just enjoy racing and I think when we approach the races this way we can really do well, as we saw today.
“Racing here in Italy at the end of the season is a little bit like racing at home. On Tuesday we will race in the area of Varesine, which is where I live, so it will be actually racing at home. Hopefully we can continue in Varesine, and then Tour de Romandie, the last races of the season.”