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Longo Borghini wins Paris-Roubaix

ROUBAIX, FRANCE (AFP) – Elisa Longo Borghini of Trek-Segafredo won the Paris-Roubaix women’s race on Saturday after a 124-kilometre (km) run featuring 17 sections of cobbled mining roads, while teammate and world champion Elisa Balsamo was disqualified.

The 30-year-old Italian champion powered to a solo triumph after taking the lead with 30km to go with a blistering turn of pace just after a previous break had been caught.

However, it was a miserable day for fellow Trek rider Balsamo who was disqualified for an illegal tow from her team car following a puncture.

Lotte Kopecky of SD Worx won the sprint for second in the Roubaix velodrome, while Lucinda Brand of Trek-Segafredo was third as six riders finished just 23 seconds behind Longo Borghini.

The Olympic bronze medallist let out a long scream and burst into tears of joy before dedicating the win to her family and her Trek team.

“I haven’t been well or performing as I know I can,” she said.

“I didn’t think I was ready, I didn’t think that I wanted to do it. They kept saying, ‘We know you are ready and capable of doing this.’ I have to say that they were right,” she said.

The winner also had sympathy for Balsamo.

“This is a little bit for Elisa Balsamo, who was disqualified. The rule is the rule, but you still feel a little bit sorry,” said Longo Borghini.

It was a second straight win for Trek after British rider Lizzie Deignan triumphed in a deluge in 2021.

In stark contrast to last year’s mud-fest, the second edition of the women’s race was contested in dry conditions and clouds of dust caused by many riders using the dirt paths.

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