Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Road

Elisa Balsamo: At Trek-Segafredo we can choose how we want the race to go

Even a last-minute change of plan couldn’t stop Trek-Segafredo at Brugge-De Panne.

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

Trek-Segafredo is showing that even when things don’t go to plan, the race can still go its way.

World champion Elisa Balsamo didn’t know she was going to be the team’s designated sprinter for Thursday’s Exterioo Classic Brugge-De Panne until the final two kilometers of the race. Minutes later, she won.

“It was a big surprise for me, because I was working for Chloe Hosking,” the Italian explained at the finish. “But in the last kilometers she told me there was a crash and that I had to sprint. So I tried to do my best.”

Read more:

Hosking didn’t go down, but was held up by a small crash on a bend, leaving Balsamo with not only the responsibility to go for the win, but without a lead out to help her.

Though Balsamo didn’t benefit from a leadout as organized as the one that delivered her to victory at Trofeo Binda, Trek-Segafredo’s earlier efforts resulted in almost exactly the outcome it wanted, albeit with a different final sprinter.

This ability to control races and dictate the outcomes, Balsamo said, is the team’s key strength.

“In this team, we can choose how we want the race to go,” she said. “It’s not easy, but we can try to do our race, and not just follow the lead of other teams.

Trek-Segafredo seemed to be setting it up for a sprint in De Panne – using Hanson, Hosking, Balsamo and Van Anroiij to up the pace in the run-in – but it was the team’s ability to adapt at the last minute that sealed the win.

“The good point is that we also have a lot of solutions, not only a sprint but also a breakaway or solo attack, and I think this is our power,” Balsamo said.

After sprinting to her second win in a week, Balsamo also revealed that regular track training is key to her success on the road.

“We are training once a week on the track in Montichiari,” she said, referring to training sessions with the Italian national team. “I think it’s very important also for my road races, because we work on strength and sprints.”

It’s clear that whatever Balsamo is doing is working, racking up her third win of the year with no “rainbow jersey curse” in sight as she hopes to continue her winning streak throughout the classics.

“Wearing this jersey is amazing for me. I really want to enjoy it from the first day to the last day.”