In its second year of existence, the Trek-Segafredo’s Women’s Team made a clean sweep of the UCI Women’s WorldTour (WWT) rankings, winning the individual and team classifications, a direct result of a successful 2020 season in which the Team scored an impressive five UCI WWT victories.
With a shortened and condensed calendar for the 2020 Women’s WorldTour, a result of the on-going pandemic that caused cancellations of events, it was critical to secure significant results in almost every race on the UCI WorldTour calendar. And the Trek-Segafredo women did just that.
The Team kicked off the season on a high in January with US Champion Ruth Winder winning a stage and the overall at the Tour Down Under in Australia. They carried the momentum into the first WWT event, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, where Tyler Wiles (4th) and Ruth Winder (8th) secured top-10 results and the first points for the Team.
It wasn’t until August before the WWT continued in Italy, a four-month hiatus in the unprecedented global pandemic-hit season. In the WWT restart, Elisa Longo Borghini netted a top-five placing in Strade Bianche. Then former World Champion Lizzie Deignan took back-to-back wins in GP de Plouay and La Course by Le Tour de France, which rocketed her to the top of the WWT rankings and into the coveted leader’s jersey.
The longest multi-day race of the series, the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile (Giro Rosa), opened in September, and Trek-Segafredo captured its biggest goal of the year, claiming the opening team time trial. Elisa Longo Borghini then went on to win Stage 8 and finished in 3rd place on the General Classification.
In the intensive new schedule, the Team went straight into the Ardennes Classics and continued to show their gritty and cohesive spirit. Deignan fought her way to a formidable fourth place in La Flèche Wallonne – where she briefly lost the WorldTour lead – and then took a monumental victory in Liège-Bastogne-Liège four days later. It was a brilliant display of teamwork in one of the most challenging one-day races on the calendar.
Deignan regained a substantial lead at the top of the UCI WWT ranking and wouldn’t be dethroned for the remainder of the season. In fact, the rider who came closest to unseating the Brit was her teammate Elisa Longo Borghini, who had her most successful season to date. Longo Borghini notched 14 top-10 results in WWT races and was sitting in third place in the ranking heading into the final race.
Trek-Segafredo sent a small team to the last WWT race in Spain; a three-day race suited more to sprinters. With both WorldTour individual and Team rankings settled, Deignan had already ended her season. However, Longo Borghini was still on a roll – and there’s no stopping a rider experiencing some of the best form of her career.
Admittingly, Longo Borghini is not known for her sprinting ability. But the recently crowned Italian National Champion’s determination and some damn good race legs – and dedicated teammates – helped her in a 30-kilometre solo effort for the final day of the Challenge by La Vuelta. Longo Borghini gobbled up enough bonus seconds in the intermediate sprints to solidify second overall.
It was enough for Longo Borghini to climb into second place in the UCI Women’s WorldTour and give Trek-Segafredo an even sweeter ending to a fruitful 2020 season.
There was this momentum in the team with people like Audrey winning the French national champion title, and once the ball was rolling, it just kept going.
“I’m really delighted to win the Women’s WorldTour overall. It’s not something I expected at the start of this season. The fact that Elisa was second in the ranking shows just how strong we were as a team, and that we won the WorldTour team ranking as well.
“I think it’s a reflection of all the hard work and dedication that everyone put into the season. It wasn’t by any means an easy season. I have to say I have huge admiration and respect for my American teammates who came over and raced their hearts out in a season when it was difficult to know when they would be able to get home. Lauretta (Hanson) from Australia had the same situation. Then Audrey (Cordon-Ragot) and Elisa had really tough lockdowns with not being able to train outside.
“I was really inspired and motivated by everybody’s commitment, enthusiasm, and motivation to race. There was this momentum in the team with people like Audrey winning the French national champion title, and once the ball was rolling, it just kept going.
“I think it’s down to the fact that we’re such a united team and kept each other motivated at all times. We completely trust and respect each other, and I think that really shows in the way that we race. Even though it’s only our second season as a team, it wasn’t a surprise to me that we did so well. I could see already in the training camps in the winter before the pandemic hit, that we were in a really good place on and off the bike.”
Elisa Longo Borghini
“I think it has been the craziest season I’ve had in my career and also the one where I’ve achieved the most. I’ve been really consistent all season long. I’ve had a lot of top-10 results from the very beginning, starting with Volta Navarra and ending now in Madrid. I started my season with a second-place and ended with a second-place as well.
“Some of my highlights of the season were the victory in the Individual Time Trial at the Italian Championships. The parcours didn’t exactly suit me – it was really fast and flat. Another highlight of my season was the stage victory in the Giro Rosa. In that race, I really felt the whole team was fully committed to me. I remember crossing the line with my front wheel and raising my hand in the air. It was so satisfying.
“Another highlight was La Course. For sure, it was one of the best races of the season in terms of team tactics. I really loved how we managed that race. The way we raced La Course was the way we always tried to race this season. We’re a team that is so united and not one of us cares sacrificing for the leader, which is a dynamic that isn’t always easy to achieve within a team. We genuinely devote ourselves to whoever has the best chances to win on the day.
“Another very nice memory that I have from this season is the TTT at the Giro Rosa because it was a team victory, and of course, I cannot forget my Italian road race title. I had been chasing the Tricolore for quite a while, and it’s always special to wear this jersey. I’m a proud Italian, and wearing the Tricolore is always special for me.
“I also won some medals in the European Championships and World Championships… it’s been a crazy rollercoaster! A journey that I lived with the team. We had victories, defeats, highs, and lows – a very emotional journey. Now I’m really happy the season is over and done with, and I have time to spend with my family and recharge for 2021.”
The Giro Rosa TTT was a big goal of ours, and I consider that one of the highlights of our season.
Ina Teutenberg, Team Director
“In 2020, we achieved specific goals and accomplished even more by winning the WWT team and individual classifications. I think this proves we came out of lockdown in good shape, physically and mentally. The team worked extremely well, and that shows in the results that we achieved. The Giro Rosa TTT was a big goal of ours, and I consider that one of the highlights of our season. Liège-Bastogne-Liége and La Course were fantastic victories, and for sure, the 3rd place on the GC for Elisa (Longo Borghini) at the Giro Rosa was also impressive.
“I think in this second season as a team, the riders bonded well despite the unusual year we had. I think we can further build on that strong team base for next season and try to win some more big races. The riders trust each other and are individually willing to give it all for the team. I think that had a big impact this season and one of the key reasons why we were so successful.”
Luca Guercilena, Trek-Segafredo General Manager
“Our women’s team had undoubtedly a great season. They reached their goals and then some, but in 2021 I hope we can take another step forward and be competitive in some more races such as Strade Bianche and accomplish better results in the sprint races.
“The fact that we conclude the season at the top of the UCI WWT rankings, both in the team and individual classifications, is a huge success, particularly when we consider that 20 months ago we were just starting to have talks about having a women’s team in Trek-Segafredo.
Our culture is that when one rider wins, the whole team wins.
“The team had many outstanding results, but for me, Liège-Bastogne-Liège was one of our best races. We weren’t the favourites going into the race, but our directors’ strategy was perfect, and the riders really delivered a great performance. It was a fantastic race.
“I feel this season, our second as a women’s team, we really succeeded in consolidating our interpersonal relations, and the friendship bonds that were created were one of the crucial points. Building a team takes time, but I feel the riders are enjoying racing, having fun together, and that is a direct result of this stronger team spirit and blossoming friendships within the team. In cycling, we can easily see that individuals without teams supporting them aren’t successful. At Trek-Segafredo, we have assembled a large number of champions and built an amazing team. Our culture is that when one rider wins, the whole team wins.”
Trek-Segafredo 2020 Women’s WorldTour Champions
- Lizzie Deignan (GBR)
- Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA)
- Elynor Bäckstedt (GBR)
- Lucinda Brand (NED)
- Audrey Cordon-Ragot (FRA)
- Lauretta Hanson (AUS)
- Lotta Henttala (FIN)
- Letizia Paternoster (ITA)
- Anna Plichta (POL)
- Ellen van Dijk (NED)
- Abi Van Twisk (GBR)
- Tayler Wiles (USA)
- Ruth Winder (USA)
- Trixi Worrack (GER)
- Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (GER)
- Giorgia Bronzini (ITA)