Longo Borghini makes it 1-2 for Trek-Segafredo in a rainy stage 3 at the Emakumeen Bira.
Trek-Segafredo’s aggressive racing paid off in a rainy third stage at the Emakumeen Bira as Tayler Wiles attacked on the penultimate climb and held off the chase to the line to claim her first WorldTour win.
Elisa Longo Borghini gave the team a 1-2 finish when she jumped out of the chase group in the last meters to claim second on the stage in a wet and foggy uphill finish.
After two days of assertive racing by the entire team, it all finally paid off.
“It was such a great day! The team was incredible, and every single one played a big part in it,” said an emotional Wiles at the finish. “I want to thank all of the riders and staff, every single person at Trek was a part of this win today! Going 1-2 with Elisa also was just so special! I’ll never forget all the finish line emotions! [Directors] Ina (Teutenberg) and Giorgia (Bronzini) have taught me to believe in myself, and I can’t thank them enough for that.”
Wiles’ attack with 20 kilometers remaining was in the team plan and played out perfectly.
The plan was for me to attack at the base of the second to last climb. Lauretta (Hanson) kept me up front and put me in the perfect position to launch the attack once we hit the climb. I just put my head down and went for it and never looked back. Giorgia (Bronzini, director) and all the girls were giving me so much motivation in the radio, and that really helped.
Wiles built a lead of half a minute, which increased to 40 seconds at the base of the final two-kilometer climb to the finish. It was enough for the American rider to deliver the team its first WorldTour win and the most significant victory of her career.
Up the final climb I had to dig so deep; it is definitely the most pain I’ve ever been in, but I thought about my teammates, my family, my partner Olivia, and everyone who has sacrificed so much to help me get where I was in that moment, and I just pushed as hard as I could.
Wiles collapsed at the finish from the extreme effort, and then the realization of what she had just accomplished flooded over her:
“Geerike (Schreurs) our awesome soigneur basically caught me and help me while I pulled it together. Such a special day! Lauretta (Hanson) and Anna (Plichta) were incredible in the first part of the race, following all the attacks and even making some of their own. Audrey was captain and did a great job of taking care of Elisa and I and also motivating us all in the radio all race long!”
In the chase behind, teammate Elisa Longo Borghini had the luxury of following wheels, and when she knew Wiles had sealed the victory, she jumped ahead to claim second place on the stage.
Longo Borghini explained: “The plan was to send Tayler into an attack on the second last climb, and she did. She kept a gap around 30 seconds, and it eventually increased even though Movistar was hitting the last climb very fast. We controlled behind, and in the last 200m, I just went for a podium. It was a really awesome day for us. And it was really nice to give Tayler a reward for all the work she does all the time for the team. We are all very happy.”
Longo Borghini moved into third place overall and increased her lead in the mountains competition. Wiles also made a big leap in the standings into fourth, with a very tough mountainous final stage scheduled for Saturday.