The sprint to the season finale is about to begin for Elisa Longo Borghini. In her blog, she reflects upon this long and busy summer of racing
Hey people! It’s still me writing to you, more or less every month. Not with extreme punctuality but come on, you can forgive me. The last virtual rendezvous we had was in the middle of the summer. I clearly remember that I introduced my blog with a jingle from an old Italian song that says “July with the good that I want you”.
Now, in retrospect, I admit that that July I only half-loved it. The first part, at the Giro, was good; the second half, to be honest, I kind of quarreled with it
This period coincided with the Tour de France. It ended on exactly the last day of the month, the 31st, and I archived it with a sixth place overall. Not exactly the result I had hoped for, honestly. In my heart I was dreaming for a podium, because I prepared myself as best I could, I had done everything I could and I was feeling in really good shape. However, cycling is not mathematics. There are so many variables that may influence a result and, at the end, I simply didn’t express myself at my best.
The first few days after the Tour I found myself thinking and rethinking what I did wrong, how much it hurt me to have missed a season goal. I spent whole days sulking. Many friends, with good reasons, pushed me to go further. But this is how I am and I need my time to metabolize .
After a few days, I decided it was time to give it a rest. I took pen and paper and wrote down everything that was on my mind. I looked at my season from a different point of view. Instead of seeing only the negative side, I looked at everything good this season brought me. And, in the end, it was a pleasant surprise.
I didn’t hit the goals I had set for myself in the winter, but I did win one of the most prestigious races on the calendar, Paris-Roubaix, which I wasn’t even supposed to ride, by arriving alone in the packed velodrome.
I won the Women’s Tour, taking a stage and the final classification thanks to a sprint for the last available time bonus. I proved that you have to fight until the last meters. At the end, I stepped to the top of the podium, proudly wearing my tricolore jersey, which was like a second skin for me these last two years.
I was part of many team successes, playing a role that was completely new to me but gave me enormous satisfaction – being the last woman to launch the sprint of our other Elisa (Balsamo, of course…).
In the end, I realized that this 2022 has been strange so far, but definitely not so bad! When I think back on each race I did with my team it was a blast! I missed some races I had highlighted in red, but I hit others: different, unexpected but still super exciting. The happiness I felt after conquering them hyped me so much. They made me happy and kept me up at night in joy, literally – after Roubaix I didn’t sleep for two days…
Now it’s time to focus on the season finale. To be exact, I am in Spain, where I am racing the five stages of La Vuelta. Then I’ll fly to Australia for the World Championships, where I’ll race Team Relay Time Trial and Road Race on the 24th.
I’m not going in with any expectations. I’ll race ‘á bloc’ and then we’ll see what other surprises this wacky 2022 has in store for me.