Elisa Longo Borghini Sets Sights on Ardennes, Skips Paris-Roubaix Femmes

Elisa Longo Borghini

In a significant turn of events, Lidl-Trek’s Elisa Longo Borghini, fresh from her victory at the Tour of Flanders, has decided to forego the challenging Paris-Roubaix Femmes. Instead, the Italian champion will focus her efforts on the upcoming Ardennes Classics: Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. This decision comes despite earlier discussions about the possibility of Longo Borghini stepping in for the injured Lizzie Deignan (another former Roubaix winner) at the Hell of the North after the Brit broke her arm in Flanders.

Lidl-Trek clarified their stance, stating, “Paris-Roubaix was not part of her schedule for 2024, and in light of her season’s objectives, it’s been decided to maintain the original plan.” This move reflects the team’s strategy and Longo Borghini’s aspirations for the season, emphasising the importance of staying true to initial goals amidst the dynamic nature of professional cycling.

Longo Borghini has been on an impressive run this season, securing podium finishes at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Strade Bianche, alongside a victory at the Trofeo Oro in Euro, and a commendable sixth place at Dwars door Vlaanderen. Her triumph at the Tour of Flanders marked her second win at the iconic race, where she out-sprinted Kasia Niewiadoma and teammate Shirin van Anrooij to claim the title.

The Italian rider shared a heartfelt moment with the press post-victory, dedicating her performance to her coach, Paolo Slongo. She expressed gratitude for his support in helping her rebuild after a challenging season marked by illness and setbacks. This victory not only underscored her resilience but also highlighted her strategic focus on specific season goals.

Despite the anticipation of Longo Borghini potentially racing at Paris-Roubaix Femmes, following her statement last month about aiming for a second title, the focus now shifts to the Ardennes. Her preparation is already underway in Italy, signalling her commitment to excelling in the hillier classics.

Longo Borghini’s absence from Paris-Roubaix Femmes, especially after her 2022 victory, may come as a disappointment to fans and the race organisation. However, it underscores the decisions athletes and teams must make to achieve their broader objectives within the cycling calendar. As the Ardennes Classics approach, all eyes will be on Longo Borghini and her pursuit of further success in the hilly terrain of the eastern region of Belgium.

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