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Giorgia Bronzini second in La Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta bunch sprint

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini took second place in the first ever edition of La Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, as the race in the centre of the Spanish capital finished in a bunch sprint. The former two-time Road World Champion was just unable to catch race winner Shelley Olds (Alé-Cipollini) as she crossed the line, but was well clear of Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products) in third place.

“I didn’t want to take a lot of risks in the sprint,” Bronzini explained. “So I was really behind when I started my sprint, so it was not enough and I was second. But I’m happy because it means that I’m okay, and I’m in a good mood for the Worlds.

“I paid attention and I didn’t take many risks,” she added. “We were only five in the race, and we were only three at the end, so I think we did a really good job. Now I’m looking forward to two weeks!”

In a highly aggressive race, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s riders were constantly on the attack, with a solo move from Japanese Champion Mayuko Hagiwara setting the tone early on. Amy Roberts then escaped as part of a group of ten riders, which put the pressure of chasing on those teams not represented.

Unfortunately Hagiwara crashed midway through the race, and was forced to abandon, but then Roberts got away in another large breakaway group, which was not reeled in until the final 10km.

“I’m really sorry for Mayuko’s crash,” Bronzini said. “It was not the best, but I’m hopeful that she’s okay; we hope for the best. It was a really good race by Anna Sanchis and Amy Roberts. Amy did a lot of attacks and she was really good.”

With her focus now turning to the World Championships, in Richmond, Virginia, in less than two weeks, Bronzini started the race astride a brand new Colnago V1-r frame, painted in the azure blue of the Italian National Team.

“I would like to thank Colnago for the new frame!” she said. “It’s really nice, and it was obviously okay in the race! So now we’re ready to try to do our best in two weeks time. I’m sending all my best luck to the girls that are out there for the Worlds [Team Time Trial].

“I think they can do a really good job, so my best luck to the staff and the girls that are already in Richmond.”

1. Shelley Olds (Alé-Cipollini)
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
3. Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products)


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