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Bronzini wins stage one of the Giro della Toscana from an elite breakaway

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini proved yet again that she is more than a sprinter as she won the first stage of the Giro della Toscana, between Bottegone and Massa e Cozzile, in a sprint from an elite 13-rider group. The former two-time World champion beat Italian compatriot Rossella Ratto (Hitec Products) in the sprint for the line; current rainbow jersey Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) was third, as Bronzini took a morale-boosting victory over her big Dutch rival ahead of the World championships in nearby Florence.


A ten-second time bonus on the line means that Bronzini moves up to second place overall, just five seconds behind prologue winner Vos.

“Today I was good!” Bronzini laughed after the stage. “Today I did some tests for the Worlds – the climb is similar to the climb of the Worlds – so it was a really good test.”

Bronzini was supported in the first half of the stage by Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammates Charlotte Becker and Linda Villumsen, before becoming part of the decisive 13-rider move later on.

“I stayed with Lotte and Linda until the third time on the climb, and after the last time I was alone in a small bunch, and I tried to stay in the wheels,” Bronzini explained. “I dropped a little bit in the final of the climb, but I stayed with Vos as she worked to get back. In front of us were seven or eight riders, and we caught them with ten-k to go.


“The others started to attack, to not bring me and Vos to the sprint, but they caught each other and I followed,” she continued. “With one-k to go I was in third position, and I tried to stay there until the sprint began. At 200 metres to the finish the sprint began, and I was on the wheel of Anna van der Breggen [Sengers Ladies], and I came out at about 150. Vos was coming from the back, but she couldn’t catch me.

“I was in the right position, at the right moment, and I did my sprint with all my power.”

With just over two weeks to go to the World championships, Bronzini’s form is peaking at the right time for her bid to take a third title in her home country.

“I’m really, really happy, because the shape is really, really okay, and now I try to stay in this shape,” she said. “In the next days I won’t go too deep, and maybe I’ll work a little bit for Linda if she’s coming back. She started this Tour easy after being sick the other week; it’s better that she’s coming back a little bit at a time.


“If in the next days she’s feeling okay then I’ll give her the chance to try to do a good stage.

“I don’t want to lose too much now, so I will be watching myself.”

This victory is an incredible 17th in what has been Bronzini’s best-ever season, and the 30-year-old Italian sprinter is quick to credit the professional surroundings at Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling.

“I’m really, really happy and I want to say to our manager Rochelle Gilmore: thanks for giving me what I need, like a good atmosphere, a good team and good team staff,” she said. “So I really like riding for Wiggle Honda, and I’m proud of that.”


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