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Giorgia Bronzini takes third in Women’s Tour stage three bunch sprint

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini sprinted to third place at the end of the fourth stage of the Women’s Tour, between the port of Felixstowe and the seaside town of Clacton-on-Sea, as the peloton covered the 90.5km course in just two hours and eleven minutes. The former two-time road World Champion, who is recovering from a cold that affected her performance in the opening stages, was just beaten to the line by current rainbow jersey Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv) and World number one Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) on the seafront finishing straight.


Time bonuses saw Vos take over the race leader’s yellow jersey, while Bronzini moved up into sixth place overall.

“I’m really happy for that,” Bronzini said. “It was a really, really hard stage, with the wind, and the race was on fire from the very beginning. The first sprint was after 20km, so when we were at kilometre zero the race was on.”

Unlike the two previous stages, which were dominated by single-rider breakaways, the high-paced third stage saw several groups of riders trying to get clear. Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Charlotte Becker was briefly clear in a break midway through the stage, while Linda Villumsen escaped as part of a dangerous trio late on.


“We were in every break, and there so many, many attacks all day,” said Bronzini. “All the teams tried to attack – especially [Specialized] lululemon – and we were in every breakaway. The most important one was with Linda – Linda proposed this break – and she was with Annemiek van Vleuten [Rabobank-Liv] and Trixi Worrack [Specialized-lululemon]. In the end [Boels] Dolmans chased down the attack.”

The speed of the peloton meant that nobody was able to get more than a few seconds clear, and the race was to destined to finish in a bunch sprint. Tiffany Cromwell (Specialized-lululemon) made a last bid for freedom in the closing kilometres, but the powerful sprinters teams closed down the Australian before she could reach the finishing straight.

“We finished with a sprint of 50 girls, and I was on the perfect wheel of Vos, fighting a little bit with Johansson,” Bronzini explained. “But in the last corner some people came from the back and I lost the wheels, and so I was alone to do the sprint! I just had to close that gap that Johansson and Vos made after the corner.


“I think if I was in the wheels I cold have done a little bit better, but we’ll never know.

“I’m happy with the stage because all of the girls were on fire and fighting,” Bronzini added. “I was really happy with the work of the team. We really followed the tactics that we had in our minds, and the advice of [Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling directeur sportif Simon Cope], so it was really cool.”

“It was very windy and quick today but it wouldn’t really split, but we did lose 40 riders from the back,” said Cope. “It was a fast race, but I thought it was going to be more open to be honest. The roads weren’t as exposed as I expected; I expected it to be a bit more like the Fens I suppose, or like down on the marshes, which would have made it split.

“Also we never went in one direction long enough for it to split,” he added.

The stage was not a good one for all of the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling riders, however, as Laura Trott crashed heavily on her elbow in the first half of the stage. The double Olympic Champion finished safely in the second peloton, however, and x-rays confirmed that she has sustained no fractures and is clear to start stage four.


“Laura crashed and banged her elbow,” Cope confirmed. “It’s sore but she’s okay.”

Tomorrow’s fourth stage will take the peloton on an 87.8km route around the rolling Hertfordshire countryside, between Cheshunt, where Trott grew up, and Welwyn Garden City, where the 22-year-old’s racing career began.

“It should be quite good tomorrow because it’s in Laura’s home town. There should be one or two people out to see her!” Cope laughed.

1. Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv)
2. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS)
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

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