Offical Home of Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling

Silver and Bronze for Johansson and Longo Borghini in dramatic race in Rio

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Emma Johansson and Elisa Longo Borghini took the Silver and Bronze Medals in a thrilling Women’s Road Race in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The two teammates, racing for Sweden and Italy respectively sprinted to the line as part of a four-rider group that had escaped over the final climb, and technical descent, of the 141km course, but were just outpaced by Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands.

Mara Abbott of the USA, the third Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling athlete in the group, was disappointed to come away without a medal, having only been caught by the others in the final kilometre.

“To come away with a medal is fantastic. I’m very pleased,” Johansson told the Swedish media. “I came back because I’m pretty damn strong in the head. I’m really satisfied.”

For a while Johansson had been distanced on the final steep ascent to Vista Chinesa, but the Swedish Champion battled her way up to the group ahead of her once again.

“For a while it looked really dark out there. I almost saw the medals rolling away,” she said. “But I came back at the end and Emilia [Fahlin] was great and did a really good job. Maybe I should have launched my sprint a little earlier but I’m very happy.

“Now I will be ‘Silver Emma,’” she joked, citing the nickname she gained in Sweden after taking her first Medal in Beijing, eight years ago.

“That’s my strength to never give up until the finish line is passed,” she added. “It’s fun to finish with a silver.”

For some time it looked as though the first two medals had already been decided, as Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Abbott – the strongest climber in the race by far – escaped with the Netherlands’ Annemiek van Vleuten at the top of the final climb. The Dutchwoman escaped Abbott on the twisting descent, but crashed badly halfway down.

Abbott was then left with the prospect of holding off Johansson, Longo Borghini and van der Breggen on the flat run to the finish. The American was caught with less than a kilometre let, and had little left to sprint.

Longo Borghini was delighted with her Bronze Medal, however, matching that taken by compatriot Tatiana Guderzo in Beijing – also behind Johansson – eight years ago.

“I am happy for this medal, because I won it in a race with the very difficult course,” Longo Borghini told the Italian media. “I couldn’t believe it was so hard.”

The treacherous descent that claimed van Vleuten had also seen Longo Borghini’s compatriot Vincenzo Nibali crash, in the men’s race the day before, when he too had been apparently riding to a certain medal. Arming herself with information from her Italian teammate meant that the Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling rider was able to track a safe route down the course.

“Just yesterday I talked with Nibali,” Longo Borghini explained. “And he told me that it was a very technical descent, but also deceptive. So I went very carefully. I know what it’s like to have a bad accident, because I had one three years ago and I still carry the scars. But now I’m too happy to think about it.”

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini and Audrey Cordon-Ragot also took part in the race, for Italy and France respectively, with both riders performing strongly on behalf of their teammates. Bronzini was part of a dangerous-looking breakaway early on, which had to be chased down by some of the favourites’  teams; Cordon-Ragot attacked alone, in her trademark style, on the approach to the final climb.

1. Anna van der Breggen (Netherlands)
2. Emma Johansson (Sweden)
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)
4. Mara Abbott (USA)


Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On LinkedinCheck Our Feed