Riding is Life


Giro Donne stage 4 report: Longo Borghini opens the books for Lidl-Trek

Longo Borghini outsprinted Veronica Ewers and race leader Annemiek van Vleuten for stage victory.

Elisa Longo Borghini wins the fourth stage of the 2023 Giro d’Italia Donne (Cor Vos © 2023)

Abby Mickey
by Abby Mickey 03.07.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Stage 4 was definied by an attack by Veronica Ewers of EF Education-TIBCO-SVB, which was chased down by the race leader Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) on the final climb of the day. The three rode to the finish together but it was Longo Borghini who took the victory, her second-ever stage win at her home ‘Grand Tour’, with Ewers sprinting to second and Van Vleuten rounding out the podium.

Van Vleuten held onto her general classification lead, but Longo Borghini and Ewers rose in the overall with Longo Borghini going into the fifth stage in second and Ewers third.

How it happened

Brief stage results

  1. Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek)
  2. Veronica Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) “
  3. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar) “
  4. Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx) +40
  5. Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) “

GC standings

  1. Annemiek van Vleuten
  2. Elisa Longo Borghini +49
  3. Veronica Ewers +53
  4. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-Suez) +1:33
  5. Juliette Labous (DSM-Firmenich) +1:35
Van Vleuten was forced to lead out the sprint with Longo Borghini perfectly positioned on her wheel.

Notes and analysis

“See ya later!”
This group is not to be messed with.

What’s on tap for stage 5

The fifth stage of the Giro Donne is an interesting one. In days past it may have been one for the breakaway, and with Van Vleuten firmly in the pink jersey already, maybe it won’t be a day packed with fireworks, but it’s a hard stage to predict.

Had the world champion not taken the lead on stage 2 it would have been a course with Van Vleuten’s name all over it. The long Category 1 climb of Passo del Lupo (10.1km at 8.4%) – this year’s highest point, or ‘Cima Coppi’ – is a climb that, had it been anywhere else on the stage, would have rocked the peloton. Weirdly, the organizers have put it at the very start of the stage, less than 20 km in, so for a rider or group to go clear on the slopes and hold a gap all the way to the finish in Ceres would be a hard task for almost anyone but Van Vleuten (she does those long-range attacks quite well, you know).

That being said it’s a short stage at only 105.7 km, so should a group go on that first ascent they only have to hold it for 61.3 km – they should easily maintain whatever gap they have at the top of the climb until the base of the descent.

After the Cima Coppi, it’s a simple matter of cresting the two Category 3 climbs that crop up in the final 33 km of the stage, the last averaging 6.6% and topping out less than 10km from the finish. If GC contenders have the breakaway in hand by that point, there could be some interesting moves on that final climb *cough* Elisa Longo Borghini *cough*.

Quote of the day

Longo Borghini had a little fun in the post-race interview and was clearly very pleased to take the first win for the Lidl-Trek team under their new name.

“I feel a Lidl emotional.”

Elisa Longo Borghini

When asked what she had planned for the following day, Longo Borghini was clear she would be busy. “I should ride a stage of the Giro d’Italia tomorrow, ya,” Longo Borghini said.

A cheerful Elisa Longo Borghini pictured at the finish of the 34th Giro d’Italia Donne stage 4 (Cor Vos © 2023)

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