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Giorgia Bronzini takes 14th win of the year in Tour de l’Ardèche stage one

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini took her 14th stage of the 2013 season so far as she sprinted to victory in the first stage of the Tour de l’Ardèche, between Rochegude and Beauchastel. The former two-time World champion crossed the line at the end of the 120.9km stage more than a length clear of the race for second place, with Australia’s Tiffany Cromwell beating Italian Elena Cecchini (Faren-Kuota).


With much of the peloton finishing together, and with no time bonuses available, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Linda Villumsen still holds the race leader’s pink jersey, thanks to her prologue victory yesterday. Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Lauren Kitchen also remains in third place, having been protected during today’s stage.

“It wasn’t in our plan to try for a bunch sprint, but to save Linda’s legs,” Bronzini explained. “To keep the jersey if we can.

“During the stage we saw that the climb was not so hard, so Linda spoke to me and asked if I felt good for trying to arrive in a sprint. I said ‘okay, I’ll try to save my legs, and we can do that.'”


With Villumsen and Kitchen protected, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Charlotte Becker. Emily Collins and Mayuko Hagiwara worked hard to hold the peloton together all the way to the finish.

“All the other girls worked from the long climb to the finish line so that the other teams didn’t try to get into breaks,” Bronzini explained. “It was really, really amazing work from Lotte, Emily and Mayuko. We were also saving the legs of Lauren, because she is third in GC, so we tried to make sure she didn’t lose so much power.”

Bronzini took six stages in a row in last month’s Route de France, but the Italian concedes that the very different terrain of the Ardèche region makes it highly unlikely to be repeated this week.


“I think that it’s not going to be the same way as the Route de France,” she joked. “From tomorrow there starts a lot of climbs, so it will be very hard for me. But I will try to work hard for Linda.”


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