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Giorgia Bronzini takes a third stage victory in Tour de l’Ardèche finale

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini sprinted to her third victory in the Tour de l’Ardèche as she took the sixth and final stage, between Saint Just d’Ardèche and Saint Marcel d’Ardèche. The two-time former World champion was by far the fastest of a ten-rider group that escaped midway through the 74.9km course, beating Canadian champion Joëlle Numainville (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) into second place, with Rossella Ratto (Servetto-Footon Mixed) third.


A third Ardèche stage takes Bronzini’s victory tally for 2013 to an incredible 16 so far.

The victory was a bitter-sweet one, however, as Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s overnight leader Linda Villumsen fell ill in the morning before the stage and – although she was able to finish the race – was unable to defend her pink jersey.  The overall race victory instead went to Russia’s Tatiana Antoshina, who finished in seventh place in the group behind Bronzini.

“We were lucky but unlucky today,” said Bronzini. “I’m happy for my win, but really, really sad for Linda. She felt sick right before the start, with a pain in her stomach. She said to me that she’d try to stay in the wheels, but it would be difficult.


“So, when were on the last climb – the steeper one – I spoke with her to understand if she was okay or not, and she said that she was feeling very, very sick.

“I stayed with the first group and, when I saw that she was dropped, I thought about going back for her, but [Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling directeur sportif] Simon Cope came up to me and said that she felt really, really sick and that I should try to win the stage,” Bronzini added.

“I was a little bit sad because we won, but we lost the jersey.”


With Bronzini by far the fastest rider in the ten-woman group, the others did their best to drop her before the finish. Demonstrating that there is more to her than just her devastating sprint, however, Bronzini was able to respond to everything thrown at her, and was able to arrive on the finishing straight in the position she wanted.

“In the final the girls in the group tried to get away, but I jumped on every move. I knew the finish because I went to see it before the start. I knew that it was technical in the last 300 metres, so I began my sprint early and took the last two corners in front, and when I was in front no one could come past me in the last hundred metres.”

A third stage victory was also enough to secure Bronzini the green points jersey, while Villumsen had the consolation of holding on to the mountains classification.

1. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Joëlle Numainville (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
3. Rossella Ratto (Servetto-Footon Mixed)

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