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Longo Borghini, tears of Pink


It may be that she lives just a stone’s throw away from Filippo Ganna, but the fact is that today Elisa Longo Borghini disguised herself as a locomotive and pulled off a jaw-dropping time trial performance, probably one of the best of her career. The Giro d’Italia Women 2024, the first RCS Sport-branded edition, thus opened with the roar of one of the most successful and iconic Italian athletes of this generation.

In the time trial through the streets of Brescia, a total of 15.7 km, Elisa chose, like all the other big favorites, to hit the road in the first part of the day, so as to minimize the risk of catching the rain, which the last few riders had to deal with. A wise choice, but what impressed most was the power she was able to express throughout the entire race, so much so that she trimmed 25″ off Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime) and 29″ off Juliette Labous (dsm-firmenich PostNL), two of the big favorites in the Corsa Rosa.

And after more than two hours on the hot seat, tears of joy came down Longo Borghini’s smiling face. Despite her 45 career victories including two Tours of Flanders, a Paris-Roubaix and a Strade Bianche, the Maglia Rosa always has a special, romantic, unique flavor. Elisa had already worn it in 2020, again after the first stage, a team time trial. This time she conquered it on her own, just a few days after having had the Tricolor time trial jersey she had earned on the road snatched away from her, due to an error from the flagship – deemed too close to the athlete during the race – that cost her a penalty and first place in the standings.

Today, Longo Borghini redeemed herself with interest and tomorrow, in the Volta Mantovana-Sirmione, she will shine in Pink for the entire stage. “The important thing is to wear it at the end of the Giro,” said the Piedmontese athlete, without hiding her ambitions. Kopecky and Labous are warned. An Italian has not won the Giro since 2008, those were the years of the great Fabiana Luperini. These, however, are the years of Elisa Longo Borghini.

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