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Elisa Longo Borghini wins Trofeo Alfredo Binda
Elisa Longo Borghini rode herself on to the top of the podium in front of a home crowd, family and friends at yesterday’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda, the second race in the UCI World Cup series.
The 21-year-old claimed the biggest win of her career after riding the last 30 kilometres of the race solo.
“Having my family and friends on the side of the road has been such an emotion!” Elisa said of her win.
The 121 kilometre race was in held wet and miserable conditions however they were not enough to dissuade Elisa who has been known to complain when conditions are “too nice”.
Elisa made her race winning move when she recognized the threat of a breakaway group which had escaped on the tough circuits of the Italian race.
Jumping from the peloton to the escapees Elisa then continued on with her aggression flying past the breakaway group with only Amanda Spratt (Orica-AIS) able to follow.
Elisa proved too strong however, with the former Australian Champion unable to match her pace on the second last ascent of the 3 kilometre climb that featured on the circuit.
While the rest of the peloton chased hard, Elisa was spurred on by her home crowd and training roads crossing the finish line 1 minute and 44 seconds ahead of second and third place getters Emma Johannson (Orica-AIS) and Ellen van Dijk (Specialized lululemon).
“I am not the best in the sprint, I am not the best in the mountains, but I was strong today and this is how I won,” Elisa said.
Despite what seemed like a fairy-tale ride for the young Italian, who became the first Italian rider to win the race in it’s 39 year history, it was not without incident.
Elisa suffered a flat tire at a crucial point in the race however, was well supported by her Hitec Products team mates.
Rachel Neylan performed a selfless wheel change while Rossella Ratto helped to pace Elisa back to the lead peloton, demonstrating Hitec Products commitment to their team leader.
“This is a big step for my career and shows the big improvement in Italian women’s cycling” Elisa said.
The win not only marks Elisa’s biggest career victory but also the biggest victory for her Hitec Products team.
It is the team’s first World Cup victory in their five year history.
Courtois Straight Through to the Semis
12. December 98
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day