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Giorgia Bronzini narrowly beaten into second place in Route de France stage four

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini was narrowly beaten in a photo finish at the end of the fourth stage of the Route de France, between Cloyes-sur-le-Loir and Châlette-sur-Loing, as she was just unable to overcome Dutch powerhouse Kirsten Wild. The former two-time road World Champion, who won the previous day’s stage, was led into the final sprint by her black and orange teammates, but some confusion ahead of her meant that she hit the finishing straight in less than ideal circumstances.

“It was a photo finish, but it was a clear photo finish; she won,” Bronzini conceded. “It was quite a quiet race again today. Everybody was waiting for the final lap. I asked the girls to try to do a lead out.

“In the last kilometres I was in front of the other sprinters, on the wheel of two Australian girls, who tried to start their sprint early, but they misunderstood each other. In the final they talked together, with the one in front of me saying that there was another lap, but the other saying ‘no, it’s the sprint!’

“So they stopped together, and there was 400 metres to go which was too early for me to launch my sprint. I had to wait and all the other sprinters caught up, and by then it was too late to come out from Kirsten’s wheel.”

The 137.1km stage was largely uneventful, save for a brief split in the peloton appearing as it traversed a crosswind section midway through. The bunch was able to reform, however, for Wild to take her first victory of the race, ahead of Bronzini and stage two winner Barbara Guarischi (Alé-Cipollini).

“Anyway, she was stronger, and she deserved it in the end,” said Bronzini of Wild. “I was only sorry for the girls because they did a lot of good work. In the end it was a podium, it was second, not bad.

“She’s always Kirsten! We mustn’t forget! I’m happy though, because in four days I’ve got three podiums and a fourth place. I’m also happy that the girls are going really well.”

1. Kirsten Wild (Giant-Shimano)
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
3. Barbara Guarischi (Alé-Cipollini)


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