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Elisa Longo Borghini: Winning The Trofeo Binda In 2013 “Was Like A Dream”

Elisa Longo Borghini will lead the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda Comune di Cittiglio, the second round of the 2015 UCI Women’s Road World Cup, this Sunday, the 29th of March. The 23-year-old Italian won the 2013 edition of what is arguably her country’s most prestigious one-day race under torrential rain and, while conditions are expected to be fine this weekend – as it was last year, when she finished sixth as part of the leading group of eight riders – she remains one of the riders to watch.

With the start town of Laveno-Mombello just a short ferry ride across Lake Maggiore from her home in Verbania, she knows that she will have plenty of local support.

“It’s almost on my home soil and it’s always really nice to race there because all my family and friends are there cheering for me,” she said. “Winning it in 2013 was a dream.”

Longo Borghini has already shown some incredible form this season, despite trying to keep her expectations low. The 23-year-old took a battling third place in the Strade Bianche on the 7th of March, and was instrumental in the lead out of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammate Jolien D’hoore in the Ronde van Drenthe World Cup the following week.

Unfortunately, Longo Borghini has suffered from illness shortly after the Ronde van Drenthe, but still hopes to be in the right condition for Sunday’s race.

“I was pretty disappointed to have fallen sick a few days before the World Cup,” she said. “I will try to train as best as I can this upcoming week for being in my best shape in Cittiglio.

“I’m finally feeling better though,” Longo Borghini added. “I still don’t know how I will be on Sunday, but I’m sure we can put on a good show Saturday! The team is strong and I’m sure our performance as a squad will be good!”

Longo Borghini’s Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammates will be supporting her in her bid to win her local World Cup race for a second time, but all are capable of taking a result themselves should the opportunity arise. Former two-time Road World Champion Giorgia Bronzini finished second in the 2007 Trofeo Binda, the year before the race became part of the World Cup, and her eighth place last year confirms that the 31-year-old is more than capable of getting over the hills to use her devastating sprint at the finish.

French rider Audrey Cordon-Ragot proved in last weekend’s Cholet Pays de Loire that she is more than capable of sprinting for victory at the end of a hilly race, while Mara Abbott’s two Giro d’Italia titles attest to the fact that the former US Champion’s climbing skills are virtually unrivalled in the women’s peloton.

The black and orange team will be completed by Japanese Champion Mayuko Hagiwara and former Spanish Champion Anna Sanchis, both of whom were instrumental in Cordon-Ragot’s victory last week.

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling line up for Trofeo Alfredo Binda Comune di Cittiglio (29th March)
Mara Abbott (United States), Giorgia Bronzini (Italy), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (France), Mayuko Hagiwara (Japan), Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy), Anna Sanchis (Spain)


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