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Elisa Longo Borghini third overall in Women’s Tour as breakaway takes final stage

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Elisa Longo Borghini secured third place overall in the final General Classification of the 2016 Aviva Women’s Tour as the final stage, between Northampton and Kettering, was taken by a seven-rider breakaway. The Yellow Jersey was taken by World Champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans), just 11 seconds ahead of South African Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervélo-Bigla), with Longo Borghini just two seconds further back.

Thanks to consistently strong riding over the entire week, with a different rider on the podium in the first four stages – including Amy Pieters’ victory on stage two – Wiggle High5 took the final victory in the Team’s Classification.

The stage was taken by Moolman-Pasio’s teammate, Finnish Champion Lotta Lepistö, ahead of 2007 World Champion Marta Bastianelli (Alé-Cipollini) and Italian Champion Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM), while Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Belgian Champion Jolien D’hoore took second place in the bunch sprint just 15 seconds later.

“I must say that it has been a really good week,” Longo Borghini said after the podium ceremonies. “There was no stress, there was no pressure for any results; but we had results, because we were really good every day. We even got a stage win!

“We worked really well together,” she added. “From the start the girls were really performing at the top in everything.”

An initial break contained Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Olympic Champion Dani King but, shortly after this was chased down by the peloton, a group of eight – which was soon reduced to seven on the 113km stage’s first categorised climb – got clear. With Molly Weaver (Liv-Plantur) the biggest general classification threat in the group, at 1’41” behind, it was allowed to get more than four minutes ahead before Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling worked together with Armitstead’s team to get it under control.

With a potential threat to Longo Borghini’s third place from 2014 winner Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) and Australian Champion Amanda Spratt (Orica-AIS), should either be able to take time bonuses, Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling was content to let the breakaway take the stage.

“Today we were pretty happy with the breakaway, because this way Marianne was a bit limited with the bonus seconds at the finish, and also in the intermediate sprints,” Longo Borghini explained. “We controlled the gap, together with Boels. We put Dani to the front, who made a massive work today; she was pulling, and pulling, and puling.

“In the end I was caught in the crash that was at around 600 metres to go – I didn’t crash, actually, I just had to go on the pavement – but Jolien secured everything by sprinting against Vos. Everybody was really really good.”

This strong teamwork also saw Pieters finish in seventh place overall, Swedish Champion Emma Johansson in eighth, King in 11th, and former two-time road World Champion Giorgia Bronzini in 15th; King also took second in the overall British Riders classification, which was won by Armitstead.

“I have to thank the girls for the massive work they have been doing, today and the whole week.”

After her third place on the Queen Stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour, having been part of what was almost the winning break the following day, and ending the race on the overall podium, Longo Borghini now heads to the Italian National Championships as the rider to watch once again.

“Now I have the ITT on Wednesday, and on Saturday I have the road race,” she said. “I have good legs, and I feel really well, but of course it’s difficult to say for sure that I will win – especially the road race, because it’s a really ‘special’ race – and I haven’t ridden my TT bike this season.

“I don’t know. I will go with good motivation, but I can’t say that I will win!”

Final General Classification
1. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans)
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervélo-Bigla)
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)


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