There is considerable excitement ahead of the first edition of the Tour de France Women with Zwift, but while racing is an important goal for Elisa Longo Borghini, she isn’t getting carried away by the hype.
“Everyone is so thrilled because it’s the Tour de France – people, it’s just a bike race,” she said. Cycling news at the Women’s Tour, where she took the overall victory on Saturday.
“It’s good, I love that there’s a women’s Tour de France. It feels like we’re going to the moon. We’re going to France and racing, it’s no different than what we do anywhere else in the world. world.”
And racing is what she does best: her 34 kilometer solo attack on dusty cobblestones to win Paris-Roubaix is still fresh in her memory. “I had more than enough time to soak in. I’m really proud of my win and my team because that day we rode really well together,” she said.
She also kept it on the Trek-Segafredo team, following her friend and teammate Lizzie Deignan as the winner. “Lizzie really wished she could be there,” she said. “When I got in the shower, I took a picture of the plaque and texted him, ‘It’s an honor to shower here, I wanted to stand next to you.'”
Longo Borghini hadn’t originally planned to start at Paris-Roubaix but the triumph got her back on track after a sinus infection that started after the Strade Bianche and forced her to miss several key races.
Launched that curveball, Longo Borghini was helped by his strong mental approach. While Trek-Segafredo added Elisabetta Borgia as a team psychologist this season, the 30-something has worked with her since 2019.
“It’s nice sometimes to be able to face difficult situations and just focus on the moment instead of just focusing on the pain you’re feeling,” she says of how Borgia has helped. “You just focus on your cadence, what you can control, instead of what you can’t control. A few little tricks that may possibly get your mind moving a bit.”
All in all, it was a remarkable spring for Italian riders, with Longo Borghini winning Paris-Roubaix and the Women’s Tour, Marta Cavalli leading at Amstel Gold and Flèche Wallonne, Elisa Balsamo winning the Trofeo Binda, Exterioo Classic and Gent-Wevelgem, and Chiara Consonni victorious at Dwars door Vlaanderen.
“It’s not the last 18 months, it’s been a long process. It’s an effort that small teams have made, to make young talents develop in the right way, not to rush them. And now, we see the work coming out,” she says.
Longo Borghini, who herself started her career at Top Girls Fassa Bortolo in 2011, singled out Valcar-Travel & Service and its manager Davide Arzeni. “Cavalli and Balsamo come from this team. I think he does a very good job. We all have to congratulate them for that because they put in a lot of effort and don’t have a big budget. They are always there for the little ones. races in Belgium where girls can learn a lot.”
Next, Longo Borghini prepares for the Giro d’Italia Donne (June 30-July 10) and the Women’s Tour de France with Zwift (July 24-31), but first there is an opportunity to defend her champion’s jersey. national on June 26. “I am a proud Italian, as we all should be because we are a great nation and honestly, it has been the greatest pride I have to bring my tricolor around the world,” he said. she declared.
Apart from the race, there remains one more challenge: finding a place for his Paris-Roubaix cobblestone trophy.
“I haven’t been home for a month, so my boyfriend [Trek-Segafredo teammate Jacopo Mosca] and I’m still trying to figure out where to put it. We’re too afraid to put it on a shelf because it’s really heavy, we don’t want it to fall on our heads. We have to find suitable furniture for it!