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Bronzini battles through sickness to take fifth place in Women’s Tour opener

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini sprinted to fifth place in the first stage of the inaugural Women’s Tour, in Britain, between Oundle, Northamptonshire, and Northampton, despite suffering from a cold that affected her performance. The former two-time road World champion was just unable to respond to the pace of the others on the uphill finishing straight, as Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) beat current rainbow jersey Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv), with Hannah Barnes (UnitedHealthcare) third.


“The sprint started really, really early, into a strong headwind,” a croaky-voiced Bronzini explained afterwards. “I waited and waited and after, when Vos started, I tried to go in her wheel. I didn’t have my best sprint today; normally I can jump in her wheel – I may not beat her but I can jump in her wheel – but today, no. That’s because I couldn’t breathe very well today, and that meant that my legs weren’t so good. To do a good sprint you must be really fresh and ready to do it.”

The 93.8km stage was characterised by two solo breakaways; first from Rossella Ratto (Estado de Mexico-Faren), who took the first of the day’s Strava QOM climbs, then French champion Elise Delzenne, who took the second. Delzenne managed to get 45 seconds clear, but too many teams wanted the day to end in a sprint and she was caught just inside two kilometres to go.


Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Peta Mullens briefly escaped as part of a dangerous-looking five-rider group in the middle of the stage, before Delzenne made her escape, but the peloton otherwise stayed together on the rolling Northamptonshire roads.

“It was not so fast a race, the overall speed, but a bit nervous in the bunch,” Bronzini explained. “The roads were small, but there was a fight for the two sprints for the GC.

“In the end, when we were all together, Dani King brought me up into a good position, but in the last kilometre I was closed out by the other teams and I had to do a sprint – before the sprint – so that I could go again from a good position.

“I’m happy because the girls pulled so that I could do a sprint today,” Bronzini added. “I was sick when we started, but I tried to resist. It was not the best for me, but today was like a ‘warm up’, and we’ll try again tomorrow.”


The first-ever edition of the Women’s Tour proved to many what appetite there is for bike racing in the United Kingdom, with crowds reminding many of those seen at the last big race held in the country: the London 2012 Olympic road race.

“That was really amazing!” said Bronzini. “That was really, really amazing! The fans and the kids at the side of the roads were really supporting us, and it was really good. I’m just sorry that I’m not in the best condition right now to be friendly.

“I hope that I can be better in the next days so that the people that come to watch can get a good impression of us.”

Tomorrow’s second stage will cover 118.5km between Hinckley, Leicestershire, and Bedford. Please check the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling YouTube Channel for daily free-to-use video updates.

The Friends Life Women’s Tour Pre-Race movie.


1. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS)
2. Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv)
3. Hannah Barnes (UnitedHealthcare)

5. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

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