Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Elisa Longo Borghini is officially the World’s Number One female cyclist, as confirmed by the rankings released by the International Cycling Union (UCI) today. The Italian Time Trial Champion also leads the 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour however the UCI ranking is a more accurate indication of who is the current World’s best cyclist, as it totals up all UCI results of all cyclist from a constant rolling calendar, and ranks the consistency of an athlete at any moment over the previous 12 months.
A top 10 result in yesterday’s World Tour event, Trofeo Alfredo Binda in Italy gained Longo Borghini the required points to overtake 2016 WorldTour series winner Megan Guarnier and become the new World Number One.
“Today the team was strong, and I tried to escape but the other team's tactics had the better of the individuals, but next time we will see,” Longo Borghini smiled.
“I’m very happy to have kept the WorldTour jersey, and of course it’s nice to be World Number One!” she laughed. “To be the World Number One you need to prove, every day, through the season, that you deserve that spot, and I would like to be able to win more races.
“Of course I would not be able to achieve this without my fantastic teammates, who support me really well in all the races, and the excellent staff and sponsors of Wiggle High5,” Longo Borghini added. “Without my team I would just be one individual rider, and not able to perform so well, so I hope that I can be as good a teammate for them this season also.”
The Italian’s WorldTour lead comes thanks to her victory in Strade Bianche, fourth place in the Ronde van Drenthe along with yesterday’s seventh place, but the UCI ranking includes results from all categories of UCI events. In addition to this year’s results - which have seen Longo Borghini as the outstanding rider in every race she has started - victory in last year’s Giro delle Emilia, an Olympic Bronze Medal, second place in the Philadelphia Classic and fifth places in la Flèche Wallonne, the Tour of Flanders and the Olympic Time Trial all added to the points total which clearly indicate that Longo Borghini is currently the most consistent rider in the peloton.
“I’m delighted for Elisa!” Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling General Manager exclaimed. “To reach World Number One in such a demanding and competitive sport, or any sport for that matter is a huge career achievement. This achievement for Elisa has been well earned and is a result of her all-round talent and consistency, however it takes much more than just that to reach the top. It’s as much due to her mental approach to her sport, and life in general. She’s a very grounded athlete and person who has a well-balanced life and she surrounds herself with professional and experienced people.
“Elisa doesn’t sweat the small stuff, she just stays focused on the things that she can control and she goes about her objectives quietly,” Gilmore explained. “It for sure helps both genetically and mentally/emotionally that her parents were both Olympians, plus, her brother was a pro cyclist and they all know how to best support Elisa during the toughest moments of being an elite athlete. In saying this, at the end of the day, no one but Elisa can take the credit for the position she is in today, World Number One.
“This World Number One achievement for Elisa is especially significant and satisfying for me personally as I was very clear with Elisa when she first joined our team (then Wiggle Honda) that our team could take her to World Number One. At that moment of trying to convince Elisa that World No.1 was a realistic possibility, I’m not sure if she 100% believed it - I certainly did. There is no doubt in my mind that she could have achieved this result with any team however I was determined to work with such a talented athlete and loveable person. Amongst many elements, Elisa will credit this achievement to her close and committed teammates and staff at Wiggle High5, who she also calls ‘friends’.
“In my opinion, the final steps Elisa has made to achieve this ultimate status of UCI World Number One was the result of her own self-belief and confidence. Words cannot describe my admiration for this unique, quiet achiever.”
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photo Anton Vos