Longo Borghini's Women's Tour Down Under GC ambitions start on Mengler Hill

Elisa Longo Borghini is one of three potential overall contenders that Trek-Segafredo will line out at the Women's Tour Down Under held from January 10-13. The Italian says that she is unsure of her form so early in the season, but that her GC ambitions will be sorted out on stage 2's hilltop finish on Mengler Hill.

"For my GC ambitions, we will wait for stage 2 to decide," Longo Borghini said in a team press release. "I will see how I feel, where I stand in the GC and I will of course discuss this with my team, too."

Trek-Segafredo have already met for two training camps - the first in Waterloo, Wisconsin and the most recent in Sicily in December - where they got to know one another and their new equipment. Longo Borghini said she is looking forward to testing that knowledge in a race setting.

"We already had a training camp together so we know each other and we've been riding together here as well, that definitely helps," she said. "Once we start racing together, I am sure we will be even more homogeneous. I am confident all will turn out well. I feel very well surrounded by my teammates, we have a good atmosphere and that's the most important thing to race well together, as a team."

When it comes to racing uphill, Trek-Segafredo will also rely on Tayler Wiles and Ruth Winder. In the sprints, the team will have three contenders in Letizia Paternoster, Lotta Lepistö and Lauretta Hanson.

"We brought a great team to the start of this race," Longo Borghini said. "We are three climbers, Tayler, Ruth and myself and we will have three strong sprinters at the start as well, with Lauretta, Lotta and Letizia. Together we can make this a great race. Taking a victory would be awesome, and I strongly believe that’s possible.”

The team arrived early to train ahead of the start of the Women's Tour Down Under. Some travelled from North America's and Europe's winter months, and arrived to nearly 40C temperatures in Australia. The temperatures are expected to remain hot during the races, something that could affect Longo Borghini, although she said that she is not too worried.

"I feel fine, I am probably not in top shape yet but I will be there," she said. "I’ve been training very well at home, but obviously the conditions in Northern Italy are very different from what we find here. It’s my first time in Australia and the change of temperature is right now the biggest issue. But as long as I make sure to stay hydrated, I am sure I will be okay."

Watch the Women's Tour Down Under stage 1 highlights video below.


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