Longo Borghini closes spring chapter on the final podium of La Vuelta Femenina

The Breakdown

After a stellar spring campaign, which included wins at the Tour of Flanders and De Brabantse Pijl, Elisa Longo Borghini waves farewell to the spring from the podium of La Vuelta Femenina. Eight days ago, the Spanish Grand Tour started with a bittersweet team time trial win for Lidl-Trek in Valencia. From there, the peloton had to overcome wind, hills, and more wind before reaching the final finish line in Valdesquí, Madrid.

On the final stage, Brodie Chapman attacked early, acting as a satellite rider for Longo Borghini after the peloton was whittled down on the first-category Puerta de la Moncuera. Then, after a quick descent and ride through the valley, loomed the final climb of La Vuelta – the ascent to the Valdesquí ski resort. The Italian champion started the day placed second overall, but with only a short margin to third placed Riejanne Markus (Visma). When the Red Jersey, Demi Vollering, accelerated with 6km to go, Longo Borghini found herself in difficulty. However, in true ELB-fashion, she never gave up, fighting all the way to the line with her usual steely determination. Unfortunately, she had to concede the runner-up position to Markus by 11 seconds, but still proudly assumed the third spot on the podium with a smile, and a thank you to the Spanish fans.


Elisa’s roundup

“It was a beautiful week in Spain. I have to say that the course was a great one, overall. No stage was easy – we always raced full on! I didn’t come here in my optimal form after the tough Spring campaign I had. The team rode well, but it was a bit unfortunate for us at the beginning because we lost Ellen after the time trial, and then a few days later we lost Gaia, but we kept believing, we kept fighting.

“I was not at my very best level, but I fought hard with my teammates as we did believe until the very end that we could keep the 2nd place. In the end, it wasn’t possible and I finished 3rd. This is sport – sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But, third place in the Vuelta is not a bad result, hey? Everyone was super supportive, so thank you to my teammates and the staff for their work. It’s sad to lose the second place, but I did my 100%, and what else can I do? You have to smile, it’s still a good result.

“I don’t think I made any mistake. I just gave my 100% and this what I got. I go home now, and I’m still happy. I am in the purple jersey as leader of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, and that means that I have been very consistent during my Spring. I’m satisfied with my first part of the season. Now it’s time to rest, reset and restart thinking of the second part of the season.”


Eight stages in photos