Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5) believes that she's finally finding her rhythm post-altitude training camp after making it into the stage-winning move on the stage 3 of the Aviva Women's Tour. The Italian said too high a gearing contributed to her losing out in the sprint, but she is happy with how she has performed in the opening three stages.
"I felt pretty well so I tried to do my sprint early because I knew I really need to do my sprint now. I probably started a bit too heavy with my gear so I was a little blocked but I am pretty satisfied," Longo Borghini told Cyclingnews at the finish.
"It has been a tough race for everybody and I think that some of the girls felt the rain from yesterday and the length of the stage. I felt really good. I'm just down from altitude so I need to find my rhythm but for the beginning it was OK."
Longo Borghini is just seven seconds down in the overall classification in third place but tells Cyclingnews that, while she'll try to defend her position, the race is about building her form more than anything else. "For me here it is more about training than anything but of course if I have a good position then I will keep it."
There are still two tough stages to come and Saturday could provide another opportunity for the Italian. Overall, this year's race has been better suited to Longo Borghini with much more climbing all around. This year's route gets a resounding thumbs up from the Italian, who believes that more organisers should follow their lead.
"I like the fact that it is harder and longer. This can make the difference and I would really like to have longer races in general. I think, the longer we race in general the better it is for women's cycling and for the spectacle."
Longo Borghini graduates from police academy; looks ahead to Olympic Games
Longo Borghini was not only at altitude camp but she also took a month off to complete her studies and training required to secure her certificate as a police officer in Verbania, Italy. It was a one-year program and she spent the last month learning how to shoot a weapon, the last test of her licensing process.
She will work under the police unit's sports division while she continues her career as a cyclist, but will then switch to a full-time position later on.
Aside from her endeavours in becoming a police officer and racing in the world-class peloton at the Aviva Women's Tour, Longo Borghini is aiming to secure one of the four spots on the Italian women's team for the Olympic Games.
The federation will not announce the team until after the Giro Rosa, where Longo Borghini will aim for stage wins. She told Cyclingnews what she though of the road race course in Rio, saying, "The Olympic road race is really tough, very tough.
"The climb is longer, about nine kilometres. Riders will need to be good climbers and also good descenders, too. You have to be a rider with a really good basis, with great skills and prepared to suffer."
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