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Giorgia Bronzini denied by late mechanical in Tour of Qatar stage three

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini was denied the chance to compete for victory in the third stage of the Ladies’ Tour of Qatar, between the Katara Cultural Village and the Al Khor Corniche, by a late mechanical problem that saw her lose contact with the front group. The former two-time road was part of a 28-strong lead group with teammate Charlotte Becker, in similar circumstances to stage two, when she experienced her problem and lost contact.

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“I must have hit a hole or something in the road, because my lever hood moved down and a little bit inwards, and the brake closed a little onto the wheel,” Bronzini explained. “At that moment I didn’t feel right because it was in a hard section, so I asked Rochelle [Gilmore] if my brake was rubbing.

“After that, when I was riding hard in the wind, a girl pushed me off the road onto the gravel and I punctured,” the Italian continued. “I quickly took a front wheel, but after that my bike didn’t move because the rear brake was completely closed. I had to wait for [team mechanic Jarrod Moroni] to take out my wheel and move the brake and I lost so much time.

“I tried to resist, but I’m not superwoman!” she laughed. “But I think I must be strong to ride with my brake closed like that!”

“I feel sorry for the team because everybody rode really well today,” Bronzini added. “Everyone was next to me, and covered me from the wind, and brought me up again. I really was happy for that because they left me in a perfect position for going in the first group.”

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“All the girls worked hard today. We are starting to have a good feeling together, and that is the best thing for the future. I’m really surprised with Peta [Mullens] because it’s really her first time in this kind of race and she understands the job really well. She’s really smart, and I’m really happy about that because she’s strong too.

“For sure I’m better than the first day,” Bronzini concluded. “Today could have been a good day, but we were just unlucky.”

Having lost the front group, Bronzini was protected by the rest of her Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammates, and rode into the finish as part of a group, 3’45” behind the winner. Becker was able to stay with the lead group but, having worked so hard for Bronzini, was unable to follow the winning move when it went with just over 15km to go.

Kirsten Wild (Liv-Shimano) won the stage, ahead of British champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) and Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products).

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“The team worked really well together today, but we had a little bit of bad luck,” said Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling directeur sportif Franky Van Haesebroucke. “Lotte sacrificed herself for Giorgia, to keep her out of the wind in the finale, and then she had a wheel change with about 15km to go – just as the split was happening.

“At the end of the day Charlotte moved up a little on GC – not that GC is really an issue now – but I told Giorgia to relax, and we’re going to put everything into tomorrow. Let’s hope tomorrow we can achieve something.”

1. Kirsten Wild (Liv-Shimano)
2. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans)
3. Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products)

21. Charlotte Becker (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

Image credit: ASO/Bruno Bade

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