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Longo Borghini felt 'fire in my legs' in Flèche Wallonne after Roubaix effort

Elisa Longo Borghini finishes La Fleche Wallonne
Elisa Longo Borghini finishes La Fleche Wallonne (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

After her race-winning solo effort in Paris-Roubaix Femmes four days earlier, Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) was a bit off her best in La Flèche Wallonne Féminine. 

In the 25th edition of the Walloon classic, the Italian champion felt the effort she had put in at Paris-Roubaix on Saturday and could not follow the best on the Mur de Huy, finishing in sixth place 30 seconds behind winner Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope).

"From the beginning, I could feel fire in my legs, and the Mur de Huy was just a struggle," Longo Borghini described the final. "It was like climbing up a staircase. But in the end, it was a good result anyway, the team rode well, and I could not ask more from my legs."

After an unsuccessful attack by Lucinda Brand on the first of three ascents of the Mur de Huy, the Trek-Segafredo team placed Leah Thomas in a strong breakaway of 10 riders that spent a long time in the front of the race, with their advantage above two minutes at one point. They were only caught on the penultimate climb, the Côte de Cherave.

Going into this climb, Ellen van Dijk came to the fore to position Longo Borghini who could follow the accelerations of Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) and Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx) and was part of a select group on the descent into Huy. Shirin van Anrooij came back from behind and did some crucial work chasing down late attacks, meaning that Longo Borghini reached Huy with the front group.

But the finishing climb was too much for the 30-year-old who had to watch Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team), Liane Lippert (Team DSM), Vollering, her teammate Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, and Cavalli rode away from her on the lower slopes to fight for the victory. 

Soon afterwards, Longo Borghini was also passed by Margarita Victoria García (UAE Team ADQ), but she managed to overtake a fading Lippert on the last 30 metres to finish in sixth place.

"I felt the hour that I spent in front alone, to be honest. It has been a big effort for me on Saturday, so I am happy with my result. Today I could really feel my effort. It is just a race," Longo Borghini was upbeat after the race.

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