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Longo Borghini and Johansson take Italian and Swedish Time Trial Championships

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Elisa Longo Borghini and Emma Johansson have both taken their National Individual Time Trial Championships in Italy and Sweden respectively. Longo Borghini regained the title that she won in 2014, but missed the defence of last year through illness, while Johansson’s was her fifth consecutive title, and eighth in all.

“I finally have it back! I’m really happy,” said Longo Borghini, who competed in the colours of the Fiamme Oro, the sports organisation of the Italian Police. “It’s been hard to take it, to be honest, because I only got to ride my bike after the Aviva Women’s Tour, so I haven’t been able to train on it, or to try to have a good performance. But I just went, and I won the TT. Pretty good, yeah!”

The Italian Championship, held in Romanengo, Lombardy, was run over an almost completely 20km flat course. Despite preferring hillier courses, Longo Borghini finished in a time of 27 minutes, 19 seconds, with an average speed of 45.006kph. In an incredibly close finish, five-time Champion – and 2009 road race World Champion – Tatiana Guderzo (Hitec Products) finished just 34 hundredths of a second behind to take the silver medal.

Silvia Valsecchi (BePink) took the bronze medal, 23 seconds back.

“It was very close, but of course I won!” Longo Borghini laughed.

“It was more a victory from the shape I have than proper TT preparation,” she added. “Which is pretty good because it shows that I have good form and I can perform well in the next days.”

The Swedish course, in Västerås, on the western side of Sweden, was similarly flat, and the race was almost as close, with Johansson’s time of 34 minutes, 24 seconds over the 25.5km course good enough to beat former black and orange rider Emilia Fahlin (Alé-Cipollini) by four seconds.

Åsa Lundström (Sportson CK) took third place, almost a minute behind.

“I knew it was going to be tough with Emilia,” Johansson admitted. “The course was just dead-flat, more or less, and very windy conditions. You only had to get out to the saddle maybe three times, in the start. We had one corner, then the turnaround point, then the same corner on the way back, so it was very straightforward.

“It got really close in the end. I was in the seeded group, and Sara Mustonen was supposed to start in front of me, but she didn’t, which meant that the rider in front of me was four minutes ahead, so she was nowhere to be seen. I think it would have been nice to see somebody!

“It was almost a straight headwind to the turnaround point, and then really fast coming back. I heard that we were the same time at the turnaround point, and that is normally my strongest point. The tailwind is normally something she does well, but somehow I managed to be faster on the way back!

“I’m really pleased with that, and I’m happy that I could put everything out there.”

Result Italian Time Trial Championships
1. Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

2. Tatiana Guderzo (Hitec Products)
3. Silvia Valsecchi (BePink)

Result Swedish Time Trial Championships
1. Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

2. Emilia Fahlin (Alé-Cipollini)
3. Åsa Lundström (Sportson CK)

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