Elisa Longo Borghini was the first of the team across the finish and will wear the coveted leader's jersey into Stage two.
Trek-Segafredo blasted to victory on the Giro Rosa’s opening stage, a 16.8km team time trial in the Tuscan city of Grosseto. Elisa Longo Borghini was the first rider to cross the finishing line and is the first maglia rosa of the 2020 edition of the prestigious UCI Women’s World Tour stage race.
On a sweltering September day, Elisa Longo Borghini, Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Lizzie Deignan, Tayler Wiles, Ellen Van Dijk, and Ruth Winder were part of the penultimate team to take the start ramp in Piazza Dante and started fast, establishing the best time at the halfway point.
Mitchelton-Scott, the team of defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten, had set the time to beat, until Trek-Segafredo blasted over the line and stopped the clock at 20:05.99, setting a new benchmark.
Boels Dolmans was the last team on the road and came close but could not dethrone Trek-Segafredo, who took a sweet maiden victory at the Giro Rosa.
Italian TT champion Longo Borghini led the team across the line and, for the first time in her career, will wear the pink leader’s jersey.
“It’s a really special win. We’ve been targeting this race and especially this stage because it really suited the team. This is truly a team victory, and I wish I could share my maglia rosa with my five teammates because I wouldn’t be wearing it without them. It’s a really emotional moment for me. I had never been in this pink jersey before, and I have to thank everyone in the Trek-Segafredo team. I’m not a rider that wins a lot, and I think we deserved this victory because we have been riding so well as a team,” said Longo Borghini.
“It’s an emotional moment for me, although I don’t fully realize it yet since I have never been in this pink jersey, and never been in such a good environment with this team. I want to thank the entire team and everyone who was close to me during the lockdown. I am not a rider that wins a lot, so I enjoy the victories and get very emotional. Now we have to take it day by day and keep our feet on the ground.”
The flat, non-technical parcours played to the strengths of Trek-Segafredo, who delivered a smooth, flawless, and powerful performance and kept an average speed above 50km/h.
“We knew we had to have a fast start because there was a head and head-crosswind, and we could gain time and make the biggest difference in the beginning. We had a solid start and managed to hold this difference to the other teams. It was not planned that I cross the line first; it was a team effort and we don’t care who crosses the line first. It just happened that Ellen (van Dijk) swung off, and I was the last rider taking a pull through the last roundabout. Maybe someone can say that having the maglia rosa the first day is not good, but for me it’s a big emotion,” concluded Longo Borghini.
Sport director Ina-Yoko Teutenberg praised her riders’ performance and acknowledged that the team is ready to defend the maglia rosa in the upcoming challenging stages.
“It was a short TTT, so we knew there was no margin for error. We knew how strong some of the other teams are, and you can really see that with the small time differences in the end. We knew it was going to be close and we won by only three seconds. The team rode really well; they did exactly what we had discussed in the pre-race meeting.
“It wasn’t planned that Elisa was going over the line first, but she was the last rider to take a pull, and in the end it’s great. She’s never had the pink jersey, and I hope we can defend it. The next three days will be very hard, and it’s difficult to predict what will happen. There are no summit finishes, but there are mountains to overcome and a constant up and down all day. Tomorrow we’re going on some Strade Bianche roads, so we know it’s going to be nervous, and we have to try and get everyone safely through the stage,” said Teutenberg.
The Giro Rosa continues Saturday with a hilly 124.8km Stage 2 from Civitella Paganico to Arcidosso.