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Giorgia Bronzini third in Aviva Women’s Tour Opening Stage Sprint

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini finished third in the opening stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour, as the peloton fractured around the circuitous final kilometre in the centre of the Norfolk capital, Norwich. The former two-time road World Champion crossed the line just behind the very physical battle for victory, between Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) and Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv), with the Luxembourg Champion coming out on top against the Olympic Champion.

“It was a very fast race today,” Bronzini said afterwards. “It was long, but it was fast. We decided in the race to work for me in the sprint, because it was a bit of a crazy final. So Jolien was confident in riding for me, and I had the responsibility to try to get a result.

“With 1km to go there was a crash, and so the bunch was a little bit split up. Jolien tried to bring me up on the third-last corner, but I lost her wheel because a girl from Liv pushed me out and I needed to break.

“There was a little bit of a gap to Majerus and Vos at that moment, and I just managed to close the gap and in the end I was third.

“I just want to thank the team for believing in me today. That was the plan; if it was a sprint then I would take the responsibility today. I got third, so it’s not really, really bad.”

The mostly flat, 138.5km Norfolk parcours saw several attempted breakaways, from groups of various sizes, but it wasn’t until 21km to go that Alison Tetrick (Cylance) managed to get away alone. The American was allowed to open a lead of almost two minutes before the peloton reacted, and it looked as though she may have stayed away to the finish.

“It was a risk in the final with Tetrick, because nobody was taking the responsibility to pull,” Bronzini explained. “The teams were looking at each other until the end, so we really took a risk that she stayed away to the finish, and we only caught her with 200 metres to go! So we were lucky!”

As the peloton entered the winding streets of central Norwich there was a crash, which involved a number of big names, but thankfully nobody from Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling. Elisa Longo Borghini crossed the line safely in ninth place, with the rest of the black and orange team well inside the top-30.

“We were safe,” Bronzini said. “No one was involved from our team, because the girls wanted to stay safe. It was just me taking the risk with Jolien. It was just the two of us, we didn’t want to involve everyone in the final. In a crazy final it wasn’t fair to involve everyone to help me, so me and Jolien took the risk for the possibility today.”

1. Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans)
2. Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv)
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

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