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Elisa Longo Borghini second in Giro Rosa Stage 8 breakaway

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Elisa Longo Borghini finished second in the eighth stage of the Giro Rosa, between San Giorgio di Perlena and Breganze, after instigating a three-rider breakaway move in the closing kilometres. The former Italian Champion was outsprinted at the line by European Champion Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling) but managed come around Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb) to take second place, 23 seconds ahead of the fast-moving peloton.

“It was a fast and very hot day today, and we managed to stay in the front together,” Longo Borghini said afterwards. “There was Emilia [Fahlin], Audrey [Cordon-Ragot], Kirsten [Wild] and me. There was a GPM with about 8km to go and Allan told me to try to have a go because we had also a very technical descent. So I did and at the end of the descent it was me, Marianne Vos, and Lucinda Brand.

“We rode together to the finish and in the end it was just a sprint,” Longo Borghini explained. “Lucinda Brand was more concerned about getting seconds for the GC, so she started it first, and I managed to pass her in the last 100 metres.”

Longo Borghini had been part of a breakaway early in the stage, but the group was pulled back before it could build a meaningful lead. Despite having proclaimed that she is no longer racing for the Pink Jersey, after losing almost three minutes through sickness on stage six, she was clearly regarded as a threat by many in the rest of the peloton.

Audrey Cordon-Ragot also escaped alone, but was deemed too dangerous and quickly pulled back.

“After the first descent we got away, but they didn’t let us go,” she smiled. “Maybe they are still a little bit worried about me.”

Despite having taken back 29 seconds – including a six-second time bonus – in the general classification, Longo Borghini still confirms that her fight for overall victory is over. With the fearsome Monte Zoncolan at the finish of stage nine, however, the former Italian Champion is still looking for good results in this Giro d’Italia.

“There is a big day tomorrow, and we don’t have to underestimate the final stage,” she said. “But I think the GC hopes are over and now I just focus on some stages.”

As by far the best Italian rider in the race, Longo Borghini’s grip on the Blue Jersey is now even more secure and, having taken maximum points on both of the day’s classified climbs – at Marostica and Fara Vicentino – she has moved closer to taking back the lead in the Mountains Classification.

“I don’t know,” she smiled. “I didn’t see how the points are, but I don’t think so. Amanda [Spratt] is very strong and, I don’t know, tomorrow is maybe an arrival for her.”

Result
1. Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling)
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
3. Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb)

Photo Credit: Vélofocus

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