After a disappointing fourth place in the elite women's road race at the World Championships in Richmond last Saturday, Italy's Elisa Longo Borghini will turn her attention to her next big target, a gold-medal performance at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next summer.
"The lap really suits me and I want to put all of my efforts into the Olympic Games next year," Longo Borghini told Cyclingnews. "I missed out on the Olympics in 2012 and this time I really want to be there. I will put every single bit of energy in my body into that event for the gold medal."
Longo Borghini has had a strong season with a win at the Tour of Flanders World Cup and the overall title at La Route de France. She also had second places at the Philly World Cup, Boels Rental Ladies Tour, before taking fourth place at Worlds.
She lined up as one of the favourites to win the world title, however, the Italian team also had strong sprinters in former double world champion Giorgia Bronzini and Elena Cecchini. The team also included former world champions Marta Bastianelli (2007) and Tatiana Guderzo (2009), Valentina Scandolara and Silvia Valsecchi.
"We had two really fast girls and we wanted to have a sprint for Giorgia or Elena, and I had to play a kind of free role but of course I had to wait for them for the sprint, because I am not a sprinter," Longo Borghini said.
Instead of a bunch sprint, the race came down to a small group of nine riders and Lizzie Armitstead won the world title for Great Britain. Longo Borghini was in that small group but she could only manage a fourth place behind silver medallist Anna Van der Breggen (Netherlands) and bronze medallist Megan Guarnier (USA). It was a result that she expressed disappointment over while speaking with Cyclingnews at the finish line.
"I think we rode really well, I'm just really sad that until 20 metres to go I was third position but I couldn't really finish off the good teamwork with a medal. I feel really sorry for my national team. It's a hard fourth place for me," she said.
"I was waiting for my teammates and I wish there could have been one teammate of mine in that sprint instead of me. I would rather have gotten dropped instead of being fourth. It is not good for Italy and I feel so sorry. I'm just not a sprinter and I am not fast enough.
When asked if she sees herself winning a world title in the future she said, "I really hope so. It's a dream of every cyclist."
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