Longo Borgini’s “Wooden” goes down in history in races she was not supposed to start


Intervaling to the hunters behind the verses and sailing, Eliza Longa Borgini flew into the corner of the cobbled sector, holding her bike and keeping it upright. Throughout all this, she never doubted whether she was going to go to the velodrome alone and win the second-ever Paris-Roubaix women’s race.

“If you don’t believe in your attack, you will never win,” the Italian champion said without hesitation when she learned she had won.

This victorious attack was a “pure instinct” in a race that Eliza Longa Borgini was not even supposed to ride. The disease held her back in the spring, at times “unable to breathe” due to sinusitis when her season in early 2022 broke up. “I needed to take a step back to take two forward.” She missed Amstel Gold and Brabantse Pijl because she was taking antibiotics to recover.

“I did not have to go to this race, the team forced me to come here, and there was no pressure on me,” said the Italian.

“In the end I felt really good because I did well this winter and this spring I was just sick all the time. I could not perform as I should have. As soon as I recovered, I performed well. “

After the race all the difficulties are washed away. When she leaves the velodrome, the steward, who begins to understand, stops her for a selfie. Before the press conference she is now relaxed, laughing, talking to loved ones on the phone.

“It’s like going through Dante’s hell and then finding yourself in heaven,” is how Longo Borgini describes the transition from the cobblestones to the sanctity of the velodrome.

“Last year I probably crashed four or five times, and this year I learned that you always have to keep pedaling. I’m really looking forward to hearing a good joke from the men’s team on this, because last year they joked with my cadence, which was very low in the sectors, and this year they’ll probably be joking from that angle, but I’ll take it in good I mean, I like it. “

As she crossed the border, perhaps already preparing for a joke, Longa Borgini tapped her knuckles on her helmet. When she talks about it at a press conference, she laughs.

“I’m a very stubborn person,” she explains. “And since my spring wasn’t perfect, I was a little angry. In Italian we say I’m a little dumb because my head is very stiff. That’s my hard head brought me here. “

In the mind of Long Borgini again comes forward, thinking about future races. In particular, the Tour de France. And while the women’s Paris-Roubaix begins to write her story, she refuses to forget the women’s story that already exists on the French Grand Tour.

“I am really looking forward to future races, especially the Tour de France. I always try to say that the Tour de France is back, we must not forget the story. It’s back because in the past there were a lot of women riding, and we’re grateful to them because they went down in history. ”

But so far there is this moment.

“I still don’t really believe in it. You ride on this velodrome where the history of cycling was created, and in the end I’m just Eliza ”.

Longo Borgini’s “Wooden” goes down in history in races she was not supposed to start

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