2021 world champion Elisa Balsamo, born February 27, 1998 in Cuneo, Italy turned professional in 2017 with Italian team Valcar, spending five season with the squad before stepping up to the Women's WorldTour with Trek-Segafredo in 2022.
Balsamo was seen as a promising rider through the early years of her career, taking eight victories through the end of the 2020 season, including a stage of the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta and the 2020 U23 road race at the European Championships. Her big breakthrough came during the 2021 season, however, as she took a sprint victory at the Leuven World Championships, beating Marianne Vos in a reduced group at the end of 157km of racing.
Since then, she has gone from strength to strength at Trek, taking nine wins in the rainbow jersey in 2022. Through the spring she triumphed at multiple Classics, including the Trofeo Binda, Classic Brugge-De Panne, and Gent-Wevelgem. In June she became Italian road champion for the first time and then took her first two career wins at the Giro d'Italia Donne the next month. After a rapid rise, Balsamo is among the top stars in the women's peloton.
Winner, 2021 Road World Championships road race
Winner, 2022 Trofeo Binda
Winner, 2022 Classic Brugge-De Panne
Winner, 2022 Gent-Wevelgem
'Studying helps me take my mind off fatigue and allows me to build a second professional path' says former world champion
Analysis Netherlands the strongest squad but plenty of nations in contention for rainbows in Wollongong
Analysis Balsamo aims for back-to-back world titles as men's team look to end 13-year drought in road race
Blog 'It was an experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life' says Italian ahead Worlds defence
The latest race content, interviews, features, reviews and expert buying guides, direct to your inbox!
Thank you for signing up to The Pick. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
Nathan Haas' 2023 gravel guide for new races, toughest races and wild adventuresOne-day rides and far-flung adventures stretch from Canada, Finland, Kenya and Kyrgyzstan
Corey Coogan-Cisek blog - Kerstperiode both stage racing and social events for cyclocrossA cluster of 'cross between Christmas and New Year's in Belgium brings memories of 'fatigue, mud, broken bike parts'
Rukhsar Habibzai - Living my mother’s memories of a Taliban-ruled Afghanistan'We fought to attain the most basic rights for women to make their own personal decisions - and it's all been taken away'
Nathan Haas blog – What to expect at the first Gravel World ChampionshipsOur gravel diarist gives an insider's peek at the route, contenders, and tactics for this weekend's event
Nathan Haas blog – The inevitable rise of teamwork in gravel racingAfter winning The Rift, Australian reflects on how team tactics are re-shaping gravel, for better or worse