Women’s peloton verbally abused during the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile

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

Christine Majerus on stage two of the Women's Tour (Andy Jones)
(Image credit: Andy Jones 2014)

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.

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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.

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Cycling Weekly's Digital Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.


When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.


Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6. 


Height: 166cm

Weight: 56kg