Elisa Longo Borghini, Lidl-Trek’s GC leader at the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, has been forced to abandon the race on the morning of the Tour’s biggest GC day.
In a social media post on Saturday morning, Lidl-Trek announced that the Italian champion has been battling a skin infection.
“Unfortunately Elisa Longo-Borghini has also had to withdraw from the Tour de France Femmes ahead of today’s Col du Tourmalet stage, one which she was looking forward to,” the team wrote. “The Italian champion has a skin infection at the top of the left thigh, which required hospital treatment after stage 6 but is now under control. However, she is still in a considerable amount of pain and in the interest of her long-term health, the decision was made that she will not race any further.”
Longo Borghini was sitting fourth on GC ahead of the Tourmalet stage, in a group of three riders at 55 seconds behind overall leader Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx). The Italian’s withdrawal comes a day after another of the race’s top climbers, Veronica Ewers (EF Education TIBCO SVB), was forced from the race after breaking her collarbone on a crash on stage 6.
On Saturday morning, Lidl-Trek also announced that Elisa Balsamo wouldn’t start stage 7 due to fatigue. “She was making her return to racing at the Tour de France Femmes after her crash at RideLondon Classique and so it’s been decided to miss the last two stages with an eye on preparing for the World Championships in Glasgow,” the team wrote.
Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar), who sits third overall, and Demi Vollering (SD Worx), who is now sixth overall, are the big favourites ahead of today’s stage, which includes the Col d’Aspin climb before finishing atop the Tourmalet.
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