Wiggle-High5 has secured the services of Elisa Longo Borghini for at least another season, the team has confirmed. Longo Borghini and French rider Audrey Cordon Ragot have penned one-year extensions with the team.
"I'm happy to stay with the team and I'm looking forward to having another season with this good group of girls and staff," Longo Borghini said in a team press release.
"I have really enjoyed the past three seasons, when I was able to take some beautiful victories, and I hope that we will be able to win lots more in the future. I hope to find a good connection with the new riders who have signed for 2018."
The 25-year-old joined the squad in 2015 after three seasons on the Hitec Products squad and a debut season with Top Girls Fassa Bortolo in 2011. When she joined the team, she was on the trail to recovery and close to her former best after a heavy accident during the 2013 Italian national championships.
The past three seasons have seen her continue her progression with a win at Strade Bianche this season, added to victories at the Tour of Flanders in 2015, two wins at the Giro dell'Emilia and overall success at La Route de France. She took an Olympic bronze medal in Rio last season and finished second overall at the Giro Rosa this season.
Longo Borghini had been one of the favourites going into Saturday's road race at the World Championships, but she reportedly fell ill in the build-up and struggled to keep in contact with the bunch before finally abandoning. In the end, Elena Cecchini was Italy's best finisher in 10th place.
"It has been such a pleasure to work with Elisa and observe the way she has developed into one of the world's strongest Classics riders," team manager Rochelle Gilmore said of the Italian. "There are certain athletes I have worked with over the years who allow me to feel a real part of their careers, through all of the ups and the downs, wins and losses, setbacks and successes – Elisa is one of those athletes.
"Wiggle High5 has witnessed Elisa's development both on and off the bike during the past couple of years and whilst she has already won a number of big classics, we're very confident that we're yet to see her reach her maximum potential. She is special, in so many ways. It's her ability to remain level headed, and grounded during a run of amazing success - which makes her the phenomenal athlete she is."
Cordon-Ragot, who was one of the most active riders in the finale of Saturday's race in Bergen, will also race with the team in 2018.
A national champion in the time trial and winner of the mountains classification at this year's Women's Tour, Cordon-Ragot has become a solid workhorse for the team. She joined the same year as Longo Borghini after they spent a season together as teammates on Hitec Products.
"Among Audrey's many talents and qualities, she's a team's dream," said Gilmore. "She brings good morale, laughter, clear motives and more specifically - so much value as a captain on the road."
At the end of this season, Wiggle-High5 will say goodbye to sprinter Jolien D'hoore, who joins the Orica-Scott team for 2018.
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