For Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek), racing the UAE Excursion Girls is particular in additional than simply dressed in bib number one because the 2023 winner. The Center Japanese race additionally marks her comeback to the peloton after a protracted duration with sickness and accidents, having needed to abandon the closing 3 races she began – Giro d’Italia Donne, Excursion de France Femmes, and Excursion de Romandie.
With simply over 50 kilometres to head, the Italian champion hit the deck in a crash. However not like closing yr, she was once fortunate and escaped with just a small minimize on her arm, simply chasing again to the peloton.
“It was once only a small crash with out penalties. After which I had a small flat tyre at the entrance however total, not anything particular,” Longo Borghini showed to Cyclingnews after the 122km level.
Early on, the sturdy wind pressured a cut up within the peloton, riders took alternatives to assault and there have been a number of crashes. In the end all of it got here again in combination, and Longo Borghini was once a part of all of it once more.
“It is been great to be again. I had truly been having a look ahead to it. I believe I skilled virtually the whole lot you’ll revel in in a single season, multi functional level, however I’m more than happy to be again racing.”
The Italian champion is a part of a big pack sitting simply 10 seconds out of the whole lead, taken at the opening day through level 1 winner Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime).
Assaults all day – however no luck
With out echelons, the level was once as an alternative formed through a number of breakaways. Probably the most lively rider was once Yanina Kuskova (Tashkent Town Girls) who made a made a solo transfer, then bridged to Gaia Segato (Best Women Fassa Bortolo) after her first try were introduced again.
By way of successful the day’s 2nd intermediate dash, Kuskova took the lead within the U23 classification and the intermediate dash classification, incomes two journeys onto the rostrum on the Dubai Harbour.
“I’m more than happy to get the younger rider’s jersey. That was once my plan for these days, and I’m satisfied to have made it paintings,” Kuskova instructed Cyclingnews along with her sports activities director performing as translator between English and Russian.
Going ahead, Kuskova has a objective for the overall classification: “I want to stay some of the jerseys to the tip of the race, however I additionally wish to be most sensible 20 total. I do know that there are numerous sturdy riders right here, a most sensible 20 can be nice,” she stated.
Within the ultimate of the level, Claire Steels (Movistar Group) fell sufferer to a crash, however 3 of her teammates dropped again to assist their GC chief again to the peloton.
And because the dash trains have been getting able, Carina Schrempf (Fenix-Deceuninck) made a final bid for glory. The Austrian champion jumped from the peloton with 2.5km to head and had a good hole however was once ultimately swept up 700 metres from the road, simply after the flip onto the completing directly.
“We would have liked to assault past due within the ultimate if the chance got here alongside. The danger to make it to the end was once very small with the headwind at the completing directly, however it’s important to have a plan and check out to head via with it, that a lot I’ve discovered in my temporary biking occupation,” Schrempf defined.
“I did that, so I’m pleased with the hassle. I’m no longer relatively tough sufficient but to complete it off, I am hoping that I will beef up additional throughout the season. For the primary race of the yr, it was once alright, and we additionally labored smartly as a staff, that’s essential too.”