Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Elisa Longo Borghini finished the fourth stage of the Giro Rosa, in Piacenza, Emilia Romagna, with two of the five classification jerseys. The former Italian Champion was first over the climb to Romolo, midway through the fast 109km stage, which was enough to earn her the lead in the Green Jersey Mountains Classification, while she also took the Blue Jersey as the Best Italian Rider in the race.
“I’m really happy to have taken the Mountains Jersey,” Longo Borghini said. “It's always nice to wear it even if I don't know how long I'll keep it because there are many stronger climbers than me.”
The otherwise flat stage was not without its drama, however, with a big crash with less than ten kilometres to go bringing down Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling riders, Amy Cure, Martina Ritter and stage two winner Kirsten Wild. Longo Borghini was also brought to a halt, along with Audrey Cordon-Ragot and Swedish Champion Emilia Fahlin, and the six riders had the task of rejoining the fast-moving peloton before the finish.
The Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling riders managed to get back to the front of the race within a few kilometres, but the chase - as well as a slight misdirection in the peloton - meant that Wild was unable to sprint with her full power, and could only manage seventh on the stage behind former black and orange rider Jolien D’hoore (Mitchelton-Scott).
“Today we were unlucky with Kirsten,” Longo Borghini said. “Because at one point the peloton went on the wrong side of the road and Kirsten was among those riders who had to slow down to get back on the right path.”
Wild’s sprint did earn her enough points to keep hold of the Cyclamen Points Jersey, however, which means the black and orange team holds three of the five classifications going into stage five.
Longo Borghini’s hold on the Mountains Jersey comes just a few weeks after she took the same classification at the OVO Energy Women’s Tour.
“But the one for giro has a special taste!” she laughed.
Photo Credit: Vélofocus
A Gutsy performance from both sides