Longo Borghini Takes Gripping Victory In 2024 Tour Of Flanders

In an intensely challenging edition of the Women’s Tour of Flanders, Elisa Longo Borghini emerged victorious after more than 160 kilometres of racing in treacherously wet conditions. The Italian champion from Lidl-Trek crossed the finish line in Oudenaarde first, following an excellent lead-up by Shirin van Anrooij, who herself finished in a commendable third place behind Kasia Niewiadoma. Favourites including Lotte Kopecky, Marianne Vos, and Demi Vollering found the final stretches beyond their reach.

The race, starting around 13:30, spanned 163 kilometres, starting and ending in Oudenaarde, with the first major climb appearing 90 kilometres in. However, the real action commenced on the Koppenberg, 45 kilometres from the end, followed by several more climbs before the race’s climactic finale.

Early retirements of Marlen Reusser and Lizzie Deignan, following a significant crash just ten kilometres into the race, marked the beginning of an eventful day. Meanwhile, a leading group formed early on, but it was the adverse weather conditions and the demanding course that truly tested the peloton. Reusser would later be reported as having suffered a broken jaw and teeth, with Lizzie Deignan suffering a broken arm in the crash.

Riders had to walk up the final part of the Koppenberg
(Photo Credit: Getty)

Vos, among others, made it over the Koppenberg in a strong position, leaving almost everyone else to continue on foot, losing crucial time. This created a leading group distinct from favourites Kopecky and Vollering, who were left chasing.

As the race approached its decisive moments on the Oude Kruisberg/Hotond, Longo Borghini and Niewiadoma attacked, leaving Vollering struggling to keep up. Van Anrooij, seizing the moment before the Oude Kwaremont, went on to lead solo until Longo Borghini and Niewiadoma caught up, setting the stage for a dramatic final.

The 3rd group on the road finishes
(Photo Credit: Getty)

Longo Borghini, reflecting on her win, appreciated the tactical guidance from director Jeroen Blijlevens, which allowed her to push on the Paterberg and catch up to Van Anrooij. The victory, her second in the Tour of Flanders following her 2015 triumph, held significant personal value, especially with the Italian champion’s jersey on her shoulders. “Winning here with the tricolore on my shoulders… I’m more mature now, and I think I can really appreciate what I’ve done,” she said.

Kasia Niewiadoma described the day as “brutal” and noted her strategic move on the Paterberg as a pivotal moment. Despite longing for the win, she expressed contentment with her second-place finish, marking a historic first-ever podium for Canyon SRAM at Flanders.

Letizia Paternoster

Van Anrooij, while aiming for victory, was ultimately pleased with the team’s performance, emphasising the collective win as their primary goal. “The objective was to win as a team, and we did. So congratulations are definitely in order,” she shared.

As the riders contended with the relentless rain and demanding climbs, the race’s unfolding showcased their tenacity and strategic prowess. Longo Borghini’s victory not only underscored her resilience but also highlighted the depth of Lidl-Trek’s tactical planning, ensuring their prominence in one of cycling’s most revered monuments.

2024 Tour of Flanders Women result

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

Main photo credit: Getty

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