Nationals week ends with four titles and seven medals for Trek-Segafredo women
Nationals week got off to a speedy start thanks to Ellen van Dijk and Lucinda Brand, who took home the silver and bronze medals, respectively, from the Dutch time trial championship – one of the most competitive national champs on the calendar. It was especially pleasing for Ellen, who was racing for the first time since being struck by Coronavirus.
The first national champion to be crowned for us was Audrey Cordon-Ragot, dominating the French time trial on Thursday. Audrey added another medal – silver – to the tally in the road race, where she was closely denied from repeating last year’s beautiful victory.
Elisa Longo Borghini followed up a day later with her own time trial win, in Italy, as she did in 2020. Despite some mid-race misfortune, Elisa was able to walk away with a new tricolore jersey and a gold medal. The scene was set for Elisa to offer a repeat of 2020, when she did the double – winning the road race and time trial – however as she explains, this added to the pressure at the start line.
“Starting as defending champion and among the favorites perhaps adds even more responsibility and, of course, expectations. I’m very happy and proud to have reached the goal. Winning today required a proof of strength, both physical and mental.
The race was very tactical, especially in the finale, and the biggest risk was to be caught in the grip of the opponents. I have to thank my teammates of the Fiamme Oro who rode closely at my side and gave great support in managing the race. In the final part of the race I tried twice to attack and make a difference, but the climb was too short and then there was lack of cooperation from the other riders. When I realized that the conditions were not right to go away alone, I forced myself to be patient and save my energy. I knew I had the condition to win and that I could break away from the group with a strong action. I let them attack and then, in the last two kilometers, I found the right opportunity. I took a 300 meter lead and with that I made it to the finish.
Confirming for the second year in row both the titles, road and time trial, is an amazing satisfaction. It gives me a lot of awareness and confidence, moreover in a key and particular moment of an important season. Now I enjoy the success, but my feet are always firmly planted on the ground and my eyes on the next goal. I’d like to wish a heartfelt thanks to Giorgia Bronzini and Elisabetta Borgia, two fundamental aids in preparing for this race, and to my mom who, with her experience as a former athlete, transmits me great strength.”
Within minutes of Elisa’s win, news landed of Amalie Dideriksen winning the Danish road race – ahead of Emma Noorsgaard, no less. Although it was Amalie’s fifth road race title of her career, she had recently been suffering from a drought. This win was her first since June 2019 – which was the last time Amalie took the road race title. We’re sure it’s the boost she needed to bounce back to the top echelon of sprinters. Even though she’s claimed plenty of national titles already, today’s win clearly meant a lot to Amalie.
“I’m really happy to get the jersey back, it’s a big honor to ride with it. It’s been a long time since I won a bike race and I’m proud to now wear the jersey for Trek-Segafredo. It was a tricky final – being alone is always difficult. For a moment I thought the race was gone but we caught the last of the breakaway pretty close to the finish. Then, it was down to a sprint between me, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Emma Norsgaard. I knew I had to be first in the last corner, which was around 140 meters from the finish line. Emma and me came side by side into the corner but luckily I got a good turn and could sprint to the finish first. I’m really proud and looking forward to racing in the jersey.”
We already have an idea of how Elisa’s jersey will look, given that she is a repeating champion, but we’re excited to see how Santini bring the Dannebrog to life on Amalie’s new jersey.