Elisa Balsamo claimed Trek-Segafredo’s second victory in Switzerland with a world-class display of strength and skill.
It was her throw of the bike that did it for the World Champion on stage three of the Tour de Suisse, claiming victory by the tightest of margins after an uphill sprint to the line in Chur (now the title makes sense right?!)
For Trek-Segafredo, all of the day’s main action came inside the final five kilometres of the 124.2-kilometre stage after the five late attackers were caught.
It was an uphill drag all the way to the line from there but Elisa was positioned perfectly in the reduced bunch going under the flamme rouge. Alongside her was Lucinda Brand, who took victory on stage one and sits second on the General Classification, just four seconds back with only one more day to go.
The world champion took the inside line on the final right-hand bend and despite being blocked in slightly, she didn’t miss a pedal stroke and powered forwards as the road straightened for the final 25 meters of the day.
There was no throwing her hands in the air as Elisa remained focused right to the very end, lunging towards the line and ultimately doing enough to clinch the win, her fifth of the 2022 season.
Here’s what Elisa had to say at the finish line:
“The last kilometre was so hard. I was just trying to do my best but it was difficult especially with the kick up to the line. However, I won and so, I am very happy. I think for everyone watching it must have been an exciting finish because it was so close between myself and Muzic (FDJ) on the line. I took the last right-hand corner really tight and was a little bit blocked but I gave it everything in the final meters and thankfully it paid off.
“This race is very important to me. I am here to find the best legs for the Giro Donne which starts next week and so, to I am happy about this win. Not only is it good to take the victory but it also shows me that my form is building nicely for the Giro.
“The plan for stage four? I will give 100 per cent to help Lucinda go for the General Classification. It’s a much longer and more difficult climb tomorrow so, at the end, it will be about simply surviving and arriving at the finish on the top.”