Longo Borghini equals record with second victory

Longo Borghini equals record with second victory

Road  31/03/2024

In a rain-soaked race, Longo Borghini sprinted to her second victory in the Tour of Flanders. Polish rider Niewiadoma came in second, with Shirin van Anrooij also joining them on the podium. 

On the Grand Place of Oudenaarde, the women began their 21st edition of the Tour of Flanders at around 1:25 p.m. under a clear blue sky. After about 10 km of racing, the peloton was shaken by a crash on the cobbles of Lange Munte. Among others, Reusser (Team SD Worx – Protime), Deignan (Lidl-Trek), and Greenwood (Team Coop-Repsol) could not continue and withdrew from the race. 

Cracks appeared in the peloton, and a small leading group of five riders broke away. Ghekiere (AG Insurance - Soudal Team), Docx (Lotto Dstny), Pirrone (Roland), Talbot (Cofidis Women Team), and Verhulst-Wild (FDJ-Suez) built up a lead of more than 3 minutes. 

The sun quickly gave way to heavy rain showers, and under the impetus of Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL, the pace in the peloton increased significantly, and the lead of the women at the front diminished considerably. Just before the start of the Kapelleberg, the leading group seemed doomed, but that was without taking into account Justine Ghekiere. The rider from AG Insurance - Soudal Team pulled out another acceleration but was caught just before the start of the Koppenberg. 

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On the slippery cobbles of the Bult van Melden, an elite group including Vos (Team Visma I Lease a Bike), Persico (UAE Team ADQ), Pieterse (Fenix-Deceunick), Wiebes (Team SD Worx- Protime), Paternoster (Liv- AlUla-Jayco), Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek), Niewiadoma (Canyon // SRAM Racing), and Swinkels (UAE Team ADQ) broke away. Kopecky (Team SD Worx-Protime) had to briefly put her foot down and thus missed joining the leading group. 

The world champion also didn't make a good impression on the Taaienberg. It was Vollering (Team SD Worx – Protime) and Van Anrooij (Lidl-Trek) who managed to bridge the gap to the leading group. The latter immediately launched an attack and soloed up the Oude Kwaremont. Pieterse and Swinkels also broke away from the chasing group, but they couldn't catch up with Van Anrooij. On the Paterberg, Pieterse's counterattack faltered. It was Van Anrooij's teammate Longo Borghini who accelerated. The Italian champion closed the gap on Van Anrooij, and Niewiadoma also tagged along. 

Their lead was never in danger again, and the three of them rode towards the finish. Van Anrooij initiated the sprint, and her teammate Longo Borghini decisively finished it off. Niewiadoma sprinted to second place, and young Van Anrooij took third. The Italian champion thus celebrated for the second time, following her victory in 2015. Thanks to this second win, she shares the record with Annemiek Van Vleuten and Lotte Kopecky. 

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