Shirin van Anrooij wins Best Young Rider and Elisa Longo Borghini finishes 6th in the overall classification of an historic first edition of Tour de France Femmes
The future is now for Shirin van Anrooij. The 20-year-old leader of the UCI Women’s WorldTour youth ranking just clinched the Best Young Rider of the inaugural Tour de France Femmes, a momentous occasion that will go into the history books of women’s cycling.
Shirin first claimed the white jersey, worn by three different riders since Stage 1, in the mountainous Stage 7 and had to tackle one more day of painful climbs to secure it. She crossed the finish of the steep Super Planche des Belles Filles in 22nd place to win the competition by 5 minutes and 41 minutes.
“Today was really hard, and my legs were not so good. I was just surviving until the top. I was really just looking for the white jersey today, I was just fighting, and in the end, it was enough, so I am happy.
“This was my first long stage race; it was so hard. I really just tried to be there for the team, and it was really cool to race together for Elisa (Longo Borghini). In the end, I could go for the white jersey, and I learned so much again. I also learned to suffer more than ever – I think I can only grow from this Tour.”
I also learned to suffer more than ever – I think I can only grow from this Tour.
Trek-Segafredo came into the Tour with high ambitions in the general classification and looking for at least one stage victory.
Unfortunately, Elisa Balsamo had to go against the world’s best sprinter, Lorena Wiebes, and a red-hot legend, Marianne Vos. She ended with a second place, a damn good result when you go to battle against those two.
The team’s other Elisa – Elisa Longo Borghini – went aggressively after the GC, seeking out time gains ahead of the mountains, and then animated Stage 7 with a gutsy solo effort as she went all-in to land the final podium. She missed that goal, finishing instead in 7th place in the overall classification.
In Stage 8, Elisa gritted her teeth on the ridiculously steep slopes of Planche des Belles Filles and somehow found the strength after her effort the day prior to keep the climbing goats close. She crossed the line in 6th place.
Elisa raced her strengths for eight days – going on the offensive and showing persistence against the grueling pace of the pure climbers – and ended in 6th place overall.
But more than anything, the Team raced the Tour de France. The inaugural edition, a long-awaited return to women’s cycling after a 33-year-hiatus, was eight beautiful days that will never be forgotten.
We’ll be back next year for more!