Longo Borghini retains Italian women’s road championship with well-timed attack

Elisa Longo Borghini has once again claimed the Italian women’s road race national championship title. The Lidl-Trek rider executed a solo attack to secure her fifth career victory in the event, finishing the 130km course from Viola Park in Florence to Scarperia on Saturday.

In a race that saw a relatively flat profile, the 25km laps around the route included two minor climbs. The final ascent, located just before the finish, provided an opportunity for late attacks. Despite some early breakaways, including a notable effort by Elisa De Vallier of Top Girls Fassa Bortolo, the peloton remained largely together until the decisive moments.

As the race approached the final lap, Gaia Realini initiated an attack on one of the climbs, setting the stage for Longo Borghini’s decisive move. She broke away with 25km remaining, quickly gaining a 30-second advantage over the chase group, which included the UAE Team ADQ duo of Chiara Consonni and Eleonora Gasparrini. Despite their efforts, they couldn’t close the gap.

“At that point, I knew I had to give everything,” Longo Borghini stated post-race. “I felt strong and confident that I could maintain the lead.”

The chase group, led predominantly by UAE Team ADQ, worked hard to bridge the gap, but Longo Borghini’s lead fluctuated between 30 seconds and a minute. As the race entered the final kilometres, the gap began to narrow, adding tension to the closing moments.

“It was a hard chase, but Elisa was just too strong today,” said Consonni, who finished second, while her teammate Gasparrini took third, also claiming the U23 honours.

Eleonora Gasparrini’s performance was a highlight as she became the Italian Under-23 Women’s Champion. Reflecting on the race, she shared, “We kept the race under control, trying to keep it closed in the first part. There were some attempts to attack, but with my teammates we were always very careful. In the finale Longo Borghini went on the attack, I tried to follow her, but I couldn’t do it. Then there was more great work by my teammates and I played my cards right in the sprint. I finished third overall and won the Under-23 Italian champion’s jersey. We achieved our goals and so I am very happy. I have to thank the whole team for that because they were all amazing.”

Gasparrini’s efforts in the sprint secured her the U23 title, while Consonni’s second place in the elite race highlighted the strength of the UAE Team ADQ throughout the competition.

The final ascent saw the gap diminish, but Longo Borghini held her ground, crossing the finish line solo and securing her place once more as the national champion.

The race dynamics ensured an exciting finale, with the peloton drawing closer on the last climb, but Longo Borghini’s determination saw her through to victory.

2024 Italian National Road Race Championship Women result

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