The women’s peloton is gearing up for another Spring Classics outing at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda on Sunday, but two-time winner Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) won’t be on the start line in Varese after falling ill with COVID-19.
The Italian, who donned the number 1 jersey as reigning champion en route to a 12th place finish last year, took to Twitter on Thursday to explain her absence from the American team’s lineup at the 24th edition of the race.
Longo Borghini won the inaugural UAE Tour Women in February and was last in action at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. She missed out on Strade Bianche earlier this month after catching COVID-19 and has said that she isn’t yet well enough to race.
“I’m very sad to skip yet another race that I really like and that is for me my ‘home race’,” Longo Borghini, who hails from the other side of Lake Maggiore to the race, explained.
“I tested positive for COVID and stayed in bed for 10 days long. Training [has] been resumed only from a couple of days, but I’m definitely not ready to compete. I’ll be back!”
With no Longo Borghini, Trek-Segafredo will send a five-woman team to the race, with four new signings for 2023 joining former world champion Elisa Balsamo in the squad.
The Italian champion, who won Binda last year from a reduced group sprint, will be racing alongside Amanda Spratt, Shirin van Anrooij, Gaia Realini, and Brodie Chapman.
Trek-Segafredo wrote that they hope Longo Borghini will be back up to speed for the forthcoming run of cobbled Classics, including the Tour of Flanders (April 2), and Paris-Roubaix Femmes (April 8).
“We hope to see her in action in the next few weeks in Belgium,” the team announced.
Longo Borghini isn’t the only rider on the team to have suffered illness and injury recently, as Australian rider Lauretta Hanson suffered multiple fractures in a crash at Wednesday’s Nokere Koerse.
“X-Rays performed at the hospital in Oudenaarde following her crash revealed that Lauretta sustained multiple rib fractures, a fracture of the left collarbone, as well as a fracture of the left transverse process of T1 [the first thoracic vertebra],” the team announced.
“At the moment, she does not require surgery. However, she currently remains under observation in hospital. She will be off the bike for a minimum of six weeks before she can resume training.”
I’m very sad to skip yet again another race that I really like and that is for me my “home race” – I tested positive for COVID and stayed in bed for 10 days long. Trainings have been resumed only from a couple of days but I’m definitely not ready to compete. I’ll be back! 💪🏻 https://t.co/wauGSgFBUyMarch 16, 2023