The Trek-Segafredo Italian finishes in third place in the mountain top finish at Tour de Romandie
The summit finish in Stage 2 was always going to be the key moment in the three-day Tour de Romandie and Elisa Longo Borghini was up to the challenge.
Coming off two victories – Giro dell Emilia and Tre Valli Varesine – in the last week, the Italian continued to show top form in the last races of 2022 with a third place finish behind climbing specialists Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Annemiek Van Vleuten.
Elisa paced herself brilliantly, backing off the initial accelerations with eight kilometers of climb to go. The group split but came back together before Van Vleuten upped the pace again. Four riders rode away and again Elisa settled into her tempo. Her tactic paid off. She steadily climbed back from fifth place on the road to pass two riders and had Van Vleuten in sight as she entered the final kilometer.
Although she did not have enough road left to catch the world champion, her effort pulled back the gap to 17 seconds.
Moolman showed to be the strongest climber on the day, attacking and dropping Van Vleuten three kilometers from the line to take the win by 26 seconds. Moolman will wear the leader’s jersey into the final stage Sunday with a 30 second lead over Van Vleuten and 49 seconds over Longo Borghini.
Elisa Longo Borghini
“I knew the final climb because last year I was here watching this stage of Romandie for the men.
The first climb was a steady climb of 13 kilometers and Movistar was pacing. In the valley between the two climbs a breakaway went with Reusser and DSM was pulling to get this back. Around 4kms to go, Moolman attacked and I took my pace. I was feeling good but in these type of climbs that are really long I need to find my rhythm and go at my own speed.
By the end I could catch some riders and I almost caught Annemieke. It’s a pity that I couldn’t take the second spot, but I am very happy with my performance. There is one more stage and one more opportunity for our small team to get a good result. We will look for that tomorrow and try to defend our third place in the GC as fourth place is close and we will not surrender.”