Hand in hand towards the UAE Tour: Longo culminates an exhibition

Almost hugging, with two giant smiles and on the verge of tears. An image to remember in the first women’s UAE Tour in history, which has Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek) as the main opponent. The Italian, after winning the third and penultimate stage, the queen, leads the general with a 1:18 minute advantage over her compatriot Silvia Persico (UAE), third. In the middle, Gaia Realini, who this Saturday crossed the finish line hand in hand with her teammate. The displays of affection began in the last kilometer. In the final meters, she did not let go and after consulting with the team, she gave victory to Longo, who took the lead from Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx) and will defend it tomorrow on a completely flat course. “When we were left alone, we knew that we just had to keep that pace until the finish line. We have done calculations with the bonuses and the director has decided that I will win. I am extremely grateful to my teammates, I have four champions with me”, declared Borghini without losing the joy he had conveyed on the bike.

Their ride began with five kilometers to go when Esmée Peperkamp (DSM), the last survivor of the sprint, left the duo alone. A little earlier, precisely, the UAE duo gave in, with Mikayla Harvey together with Persico. No one could keep up with the pace imposed by the Trek, neither in that final section nor during a large part of the race, controlled from start to finish by the American team. On another very windy day and with fans like dynamite, they acted as Aeolus. Cut by cut, the rest of the favorites were lost along the way. Among them, Lianne Lippert, the main asset of Movistar, misplaced when the fireworks went off. The German, despite seeking the head of the race by all possible means, did not reach it. Like a mirage in the desert, always so close, always so far.

It was not just any day. The 107 kilometers between Hazza bin Zayed Stadium and Jebel Hafeet culminated in the first hilltop finish of the season for the 2023 women’s calendar. First test, first conclusions for those involved and first messages for everything that is to come. Before reaching the foot of the port (8.2 km at 7.7%), the race was already broken. Once in it, Realini began to command. The Italian, only 21 years old and already with several places of honor in the Giro (5th, 6th and 7th in the 2022 edition), ruled who would make the final selection and who would not, some seven kilometers from the end. “It’s the way you always dream of winning. Realini has been the most valuable runner on the entire team. We were very excited about this race. Gaia wanted to cry with joy, this stage meant a lot to her and I want to share it with her”, Longo dedicated to his promising companion, whom he pointed to, after crossing the finish line, with both arms. As if they were on a stage. And what a performance.

Read Also:  Bryson DeChambeau Wins US Open After Rory McIlroy's Collapse

Classification | stage 3

1st Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA/Trek) – 2:48:24

2nd Gaia Realini (ITA/Trek) – mt

3rd Silvia Perisco (ITA/UAE) – at 1:11

6th Eider Merino (ESP/Laboral Kutxa) – 1:19

Classification | General

1st Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA/Trek) – 9:10:53

2nd Gaia Realini (ITA/Trek) – at 7″

3rd Silvia Perisco (ITA/UAE) – 1:18

4th Anna Shackley (GBr/SD Worx) – 1:35

5th Elise Chabbey (Sui/Canyon) – 1:58

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here