Three things you need to know about Elisa Longo Borghini, solo winner of the women’s race

The Italian Elisa Longo Borghini climbed on first place on the podium of the women’s race Paris-Roubaix, Saturday April 16. About getting her thirtieth professional victory of her career, the first of the season for the rider of Trek-Segafredo. Here are three things to know about the new cobblestone queen.

Roubaix, a childhood dream

“As I am very passionate about cycling, I have always followed this race”explained Elisa Longo Borghini in September 2021, in a interview carried out by the organization of the Paris-Roubaix. “My first great memory is that of Franco Ballerini entering the velodrome (April 15, 2001) for his last race. When he opened his sweater to show off his knitting ‘Thank you Roubaix’, He was only eleven years old, but he was particularly moved.”

On a thirty kilometer raid, the 30-year-old Piedmontese resisted the return of the super-powerful SD Worx teamdirected by Lotte Kopecky, formidable in the event of a group finale. However, the one who came third last year at the Roubais velodrome did not face this second edition with full confidence. “I was thinking more about another girl from the team on the podium”he said humbly at the end of the race. “I was still taking antibiotics not too long ago,” remembered the one who had made the decision to ignore the last races (Amstel Gold Race Ladies, Flèche Brabançonne) to prepare as well as possible for this Paris-Roubaix.

A very complete cyclist

Elisa Longo Borghini has been one of the leading figures in the peloton for several years. Over time, she showed that she knew how to climb and that she felt very comfortable in the classics. The Italian has already won several important races, including monuments: the Alfredo Binda Trophy (2013), the Tour of Flanders (2015) and the Strade Bianche (2017). She also won the bronze medal twice at the Olympics, in Rio and Tokyo.

The Italian now adds to her track record at Paris-Roubaix and her dreaded cobblestones. Perhaps one of the biggest wins of his career. “Pavement obviously doesn’t scare me. I am a professional cyclist and I have to adapt to the races that they give me”he told the Paris-Roubaix organization a few months before the race. “I know my job, I have to do it, period.”

His only weakness? the sprint The 30-year-old Piedmontese had to escape alone to win the second women’s edition of L’Enfer du Nord. Already in 2015 she declared after the Tour of Flanders: “I’m always the slowest in a breakaway, so I had to go out alone.” He did it on Saturday, escaping 35 kilometers from the finish line.

A family of athletes

Sport is sacred in the Longo Borghini family. His mother, Guidina Dal Sasso, dominated Italian cross-country skiing in the 1980s. In total, she won six individual titles, five relay titles, and participated in three Olympic Games. Her father was a coach for the Italian cross-country ski team.

His love for cycling, he owes above all to his brother. Paolo Longo Borghini was a professional for a decade. He ran Paris-Roubaix in 2008 (80th) and in 2014 (72nd). “I fell in love with cycling thanks to my brother, who is eleven years older than me”explained to the organization of the Paris-Roubaix in September 2021. “He started racing long before me and then I wanted to imitate him, so racing Paris-Roubaix after him is great!” Even more so when you win it.

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