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Cycling fans rejoice! Trek-Segafredo has announced that the duo of Elisa Longo Borghini and Lizzie Deignan will remain a unit for the next two years. Something between the two of them clicked this season, really taking shape at La Course by The Tour de France where Longo Borghini set Deignan up to win against Marianne Vos (CCC) in the final sprint.
It comes as no surprise that Trek-Segafredo wants to keep Deignan and Longo Borghini after the 2020 season they both had. Deignan won three major races in the condensed season, the aforementioned La Course as well as the GP de Plouay and Liegè-Bastogne-Liegè. With the three WorldTour victories, as well as a handful of podiums, Deignan is also leading the Women’s WorldTour standings by 400.66 points over the World Champion Anna van der Breggen. Since Boels-Dolmans, the team of Van der Breggen, have already announced they will not be racing the Madrid Challenge from November 6th-8th, the final WT race of the year, Deignan is likely to remain the Women’s WorldTour leader.
As of October 31st, Elisa Longo Borghini has clocked just as many victories, albeit not as many with WT standings, as her teammate. At the end of August, Longo Borghini won the National Individual Time Trial title. She followed this up with a win on the queen stage of the Giro Rosa and after a strong performance at the World Championships, she capped her season with the National Road title. Longo Borghini sits third in the WorldTour standings, 421 points behind Deignan.
Deignan’s primary goal for 2020 was the Olympic Games in Tokyo. She had originally planned to retire at the end of the 2020 season but after the Games were postponed and with the comeback of her top form, she’s sticking around for another two seasons. In the press release about her contract extension Deignan said, “I think the fact that I’m enjoying my job so much and experiencing such an enjoyable team environment means that I feel motivated to continue further and not just draw a line on my career next year. I don’t see a reason to stop when everything is going so well”. Third at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, this year’s Games were also a target for Longo Borghini, as she mentioned in her chat with CyclingTips’ José Been in September. Once again in 2021 Longo Borghini will target the Olympics, “my ambitions next year will be for sure the Olympic Games and the Classics.”
The combination of Deignan and Longo Borghini is an awesome one for a few reasons. One is that they are very similar riders, although Deignan can sprint a little better and Longo Borghini can climb better. They compliment each other’s strengths in a way that makes their teamwork a dream to watch.
Both riders mentioned in the team’s press release that one of the reasons they wanted to stay was the professionalism of the team. “I found myself to be really happy in the team, very comfortable,” Deignan said. “Professionally and personally, I think it’s the best place for me to thrive and be the best athlete I can be. I have great teammates, great directors, and great staff.” From the formation of Trek-Segafredo, the team has held themselves to the highest standard. Before the UCI imposed a minimum wage the team had already set one for themselves. They also hired ex-professional cyclists, and absolute legends, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Giorgia Bronzini, to direct the team. Two women who know the peloton backwards and forwards and have a plethora of wins to their names. Longo Borghini has felt from the go that the team is where she belongs, “the team started last year, and I felt immediately that this could be a place where I can do my job in the best way possible.”
Now we just have to wait for the 2021 season to watch these two race together once again, and if 2020 is any indication of where the peloton is headed, 2021 is going to be wild.
The feature image of Elisa Longo Borghini dumping champagne on Lizzie Deignan’s head was after Trek-Segafredo won the opening Team Time Trial at the 2020 Giro Rosa