Elisa Balsamo blog: Mission accomplished as Classics hunter

CITTIGLIO ITALY MARCH 20 Elisa Balsamo of Italy and Team Trek Segafredo celduring the 46th Trofeo Alfredo BindaComune di Cittiglio 2021 Womens Elite a 1418km one day race from Cocquio Trevisago to Cittiglio TrBinda UCIWWT on March 20 2022 in Cittiglio Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
World Champion Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) began Classics winning streak at Trofeo Alfredo Binda in her home country of Italy (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Elisa Balsamo is the reigning women's road world champion and wears the rainbow jersey to begin her inaugural season with Trek-Segafredo. She completed an impressive hat-trick this spring by sprinting to victory at three one-day races - Trofeo Alfredo Binda, Classic Brugge-De Panne and Gent-Wevelgem - and was ranked at the top of the Women's WorldTour rankings. The Italian rider shares her emotions about a dominant start, riding with a new team and insights from the peloton in a blog series for Cyclingnews.

Back in January, if I had been asked to put down on paper my dream debut with Trek-Segafredo, I think the narrative wouldn't have been much different than what was the reality of the past few weeks. Maybe, in some way, the reality has been almost better.

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Elisa Balsamo surprised the cycling world - and herself - when she outsprinted Marianne Vos to win the 2021 World Championship road race in Leuven. The Italian had already signed a contract with Trek-Segafredo and for 2022 brings the prestigious world champion’s jersey into the team. A highly-decorated Junior in both road and track, Elisa’s promise continued when she entered the pro ranks, taking victories in GP Bruno Beghelli (2018), a stage at the Tour of California (2019) and the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta (2020). The 2021 season was a breakthrough year for the 23-year-old, winning GP Oetingen and a stage at the Women’s Tour alongside the World title. Possessing a fast sprint, hard one-day races suit her best.