Elisa Longo Borghini sprints to 3rd and gives Trek-Segafredo a top three in every stage
Elisa Longo Borghini sprinted to third place in a thrilling uphill finish in Stage 4 of the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta, giving Trek-Segafredo its fourth straight podium in the five-day race.
The 160-kilometer stage featured a gutsy solo breakaway by Olympic Champion Anna Kiesenhofer, a 150-kilometer effort that was only contained at one kilometer to go.
The Austrian’s effort had some thinking they were watching a repeat of the Tokyo Olympics, but after gaining a nine-minute lead, the undulating last kilometers proved too much for Kiesenhofer. And with more teams contributing to the chase, the gap melted fast.
As the road climbed in the last two kilometers, the Olympic Champion was finally caught. From there it was a thrilling finish on a narrow, cobbled uphill into the historic town of Segovia.
Elisa Longo Borghini jumped first in the sprint but could not hold off Silvia Persico and Demi Vollering, who overtook her for first and second places respectively.
Longo Borghini maintains second place in the overall behind Annemiek van Vleuten and ahead of Vollering with the final stage set to finish in Madrid on Sunday.
In her words: Elisa Longo Borghini
“I played it all the way. In the end, I lost it, but it was anyway a cool finale.
“I knew I was going long when I started my sprint, but I had no choice when Lippert slowed down ahead of me. Starting so far out on the cobblestones was a risk. I took the best line, on the left, but it wasn’t enough. But like I said, I played it as best as I could today.”
When I heard that Kiesenhofer had nine minutes, I thought of her action at the Olympics. I thought we would get her back this time but… she made us suffer! A rider like that should never have a big advantage like that.