Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Elisa Longo Borghini and Emma Johansson took second and third places in the Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria, in Durango, in Spain’s north western Basque region. Longo Borghini broke away with eventual winner Megan Guarnier, and Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling teammate Audrey Cordon-Ragot, after the first of two ascents of the steep Alto de Goiuria climb. By the time they approached the finish, Longo Borghini and Guarnier were 55 seconds clear of the remaining peloton, but the American proved fastest in the sprint for the line.
Defending champion Johansson took the sprint for third place; the Swedish Champion keeping up her astonishing record in the race, where she has finished on the podium every year since 2009.
“Everyone in the team was really active today, covering the breakaways and trying the attacks,” Longo Borghini said afterwards. “Giorgia [Bronzini] brought us in a good position to the bottom of the first climb.
“On the first climb we were a bigger group,” the Italian added. “Then Audrey attacked on the downhill and worked really well until the last climb.”
Having buried herself to establish the break’s lead, Cordon-Ragot was forced to let the other two riders go. The two strong climbers continued to open up their lead over the top, with it reaching 55 seconds over the top of Goiuria for the second time with 6.4km to go. With both riders strong descenders, even in the typically wet Basque Country conditions, they arrived at the finish together.
“In the end me and Megan came to the finish line together,” Longo Borghini explained. “I want a long sprint, but it looked like she thought the same… She was simply too fast.”
The chasing group managed to pull out a few seconds on the leading duo on the final, flat kilometres, but was still 42 seconds behind as Johansson won the sprint for third. Despite all her hard work for her teammate, Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Cordon-Ragot rounded out the top ten at the same time as the Swedish Champion, with Spanish Champion Anna Sanchis and Olympic Champion Dani King comfortably in the group behind her.
1. Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans)
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
3. Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
photos Janos Schmidt