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Giorgia Bronzini takes Scratch Race victory in International Belgian Open

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini made a triumphant return to top level track racing last night, as she took victory in the Scratch Race at the International Belgian Open, at the Vlaams Wielercentrum Eddy Merckx, in Gent, Belgium. Racing in the all-blue colours of Italy, the 30-year-old – who took one of her three World titles on the track in 2009 – beat France’s Soline Lamboley and Belgium’s World Champion Kelly Druyts to the line at the end of the 10km race.

“I said to myself that I’ll wait, I’ll wait, I’ll wait,” Bronzini explained. “Then I waited until the last sprint and I managed to take it.

“I only did one attack, in the middle of the race, just to warm up my legs a little bit,” she added.

Earlier in the evening Bronzini had taken third place in the 20km Points Race. Victory in the opening sprint gave the former World Champion an early lead, but Druyts gradually edged ahead over the 80 lap contest. Heading into the finish, Druyts led with 17 points, with Bronzini tied for second, on 15, with France’s Elize Delzenne.

Having taken three of the previous seven sprints, Delzenne duly won the eighth and final one, with Druyts taking second; both finished with a total of 20 points, with the Frenchwoman’s final sprint giving her the victory. Bronzini missed out on the final points, but her 15 points was more than enough to hold off Lamboley and take the bronze medal.

“It was nice, but right now I’m in a hard section of training on the track,” Bronzini explained. “In the last two weeks I was in the track three times before this race, so it was really hard for me to manage the Points Race. There were a lot of couples from the same teams – some French, some Belgian – so I was alone, and it was a little bit hard to control the race.

“When you’re alone against some teams then it can be hard, so I tried to manage it.”

The Belgian Open was the first of a series of major track events for Bronzini, who will also be appearing at the Revolution, in Manchester, next Saturday, alongside Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammates Elinor Barker, Amy Roberts, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott.

“The big goal will be the Worlds in France, in February, so I will do my big block of training before then,” Bronzini said. “Also, next week will be hard, because the level will be high. I will have a lot of teammates there, so it will be good to show something of Wiggle Honda!”

Result Scratch Race
1. Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
2. Soline Lamboley (France)
3. Kelly Druyts (Belgium)

Result Points Race
1. Elise Delzenne (France)
2. Kelly Druyts (Belgium)
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)

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