Guazzini crowned Italian time trial champion after Longo Borghini’s penalty

Vittoria Guazzini of FDJ-Suez has been declared the women’s Italian national time trial champion after Elisa Longo Borghini of Lidl-Trek was penalised for a violation involving her team car. Longo Borghini initially finished 0.95 seconds ahead of Guazzini, but a 25-second penalty for her team car driving too close to her during the race altered the final results.

Race judges deliberated for 30 minutes before deciding to penalise Longo Borghini, citing that her team car failed to maintain the mandatory distance, affecting the airflow. Reports indicated that despite orders to fall back, the team car did not comply. Consequently, Longo Borghini was relegated to second place, 24 seconds behind Guazzini, who now earns a spot in the Paris Olympic time trial for Italy.

Elena Pirrone of Roland held the fastest time for a significant period, ultimately finishing third, 1:02 behind Guazzini. Gaia Masetti from AG Insurance-Soudal came in fourth, 1:06 down.

Speaking about the race, Guazzini remarked, “I knew we were competing for a spot in the Paris time trial, but I tried not to let it affect me too much. I was told to enjoy the ride, although it’s hard to call a half-hour at full throttle enjoyable. Still, I had a good time trial and am pleased with my performance. Both of us rode excellently, and I must congratulate Longo Borghini for her strong performance throughout the year.”

The incident leading to Longo Borghini’s penalty unfolded with uncertainty and tension. Jacopo Mosca, part of the Lidl-Trek team, recalled that the race judge following the time trial initially did not raise any concerns. However, video evidence later prompted the jury to reconsider the result, leading to the penalty.

Longo Borghini, visibly frustrated, recounted her experience: “First, I won, then I was informed that my team car was too close, resulting in a 20-second penalty and demotion to second place. There was nothing I could do about it. I put in the effort and delivered a strong performance, but these things happen in sport. It’s disappointing because an Olympic spot was at stake, but I’ll aim to come back stronger next year.”

Meanwhile, Guazzini, taken aback by the sudden turn of events, expressed mixed feelings: “I am happy to wear the tricolore jersey, but it was a strange experience. Initially, I was satisfied with my time trial despite losing by 95 hundredths of a second. The announcement of the penalty was unexpected. It’s not the same as crossing the finish line and knowing you’ve won, but I understand there are regulations. Whether this means I’ll go to Paris remains to be seen. For now, I’ll enjoy this victory.”

As the dust settled, the ramifications of the decision linger, leaving both riders to reflect on a dramatic day that reshaped the Italian time trial championship.

Federica Venturelli clinched the under-23 title, outperforming her UAE Development teammates Carlotta Cipressi and Francesca Pellegrini. Federica Venturelli triumphed despite a fall in her time trial as well.

2024 Italian National Time Trial Championship Women result

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