Italian rider Elisa Longo Borghini overheard the unsavoury comments from the tifosi.

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If you ever needed proof of the obstacles that women’s cycling faces, a tweet from Wiggle-Honda’s Elisa Longo Borghini this afternoon will show as much.

The Italian rider, who won this year’s Tour of Flanders following an impressive solo break, posted on the social networking site that she overheard native spectators at today’s stage of the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile near Genoa saying some rather uncomplimentary things about the women’s peloton.

Longo Borghini finished fifth in Loano, 2:41 behind solo stage winner Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv). She sits just 31 seconds behind race leader Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) going into the last two stages this weekend.

This sadly isn’t the first case of unsavoury language in the air at bike races this week: the UCI confirmed today that CCC Sprandi Pokowice rider Branislau Samoilau was fined a month’s wages after reportedly aiming a racial slur at MTN-Qhubeka’s Eritrean rider Natnael Berhane.