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Bronzini wins hilly Tour de l’Ardèche stage four; Villumsen consolidates overall lead

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini took her second victory of the 2014 Tour de l’Ardèche on the hilly fourth stage, between Le Pouzin and Cruas, as she outsprinted the leading group of 14 riders. The former two-time road World Champion once again beat Tiffany Cromwell (Australia) into second place, with Italian Champion Elena Cecchini (Estado de Mexico-Faren) third.

“The other girls in the group rode a tempo and I was okay in the last climb, and then it was downhill to the finish,” Bronzini explained. “There was an attack, but Linda brought me back and took the head of the peloton with one kilometre to go and started to pull me in the sprint.

“In the last corner, with 500 metres to go, Rossella Ratto (Estado de Mexico-Faren) attacked but Linda pulled me up to behind them. Then I started my sprint, and I won!”

Present in the leading group were Bronzini’s Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammates Linda Villumsen – wearing the pink leader’s jersey since yesterday’s stage two time trial – and Emilia Fahlin. Missing from the group was second place overall Alena Amialiusik (Astana-BePink).

“It was a really climbing stage, and after the first downhill – where Anna [Schnitzmeier] crashed – we were in front as a team,” Bronzini said. “On the second climb Emilia and me rode a tempo; there was a little breakaway in front of us of three riders, so we rode a tempo to the top of the climb and then Linda led into the downhill and we caught them.”

“Then Emilia and me rode on the front again, and behind us there was a crash at about 15 riders back,” Bronzini continued. “So there was a group of about 15 or 20 girls gone, and Linda, me and Emilia were in there. After the downhill Emilia was on the front again and drove it because Amialiusik was behind.

“Then on a little rolling climb I took the head again, but then Julian [Winn, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Directeur Sportif] came to me and said ‘okay Giorgia, stop riding on the front because you should save some energy for the final.’

“It was a great job from Emilia and Linda today!”

Chasing alone, Amialiusik lost 44 seconds by the finish, meaning that Villumsen now leads Tayler Wiles (Mixte Internationale) by 12 seconds. Bronzini’s victory sees the Italian increase her lead in the green points jersey classification.

1. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Tiffany Cromwell (Australia)
3. Elena Cecchini (Estado de Mexico-Faren)

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