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Giorgia Bronzini to lead Wiggle Honda in La Course by Le Tour de France

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling will start Sunday’s La Course by Le Tour de France with six riders aiming for victory in the prestigious event. The 89km race will consist of 13 laps of the iconic 7.5km Paris circuit, traditionally ridden by the men’s peloton on the final day of the Tour, and will finish on the French capital’s beautiful Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

With the race likely to finish in a sprint – just as the men’s race almost always does – the black and orange team will be led by former two-time road World Champion Giorgia Bronzini. The Italian sprinter took victory in the second stage of the Giro Rosa earlier this month, as well as two second places, and confirmed her form by taking the Points Race in last week’s Sei-Giorni delle Rose, in Fiorenzuola d’Arda, Italy.

“I feel good, I think I have good shape after the Giro, and having won a race on the track last week,” Bronzini said. “It is a really good chance for us so I think everyone will be a bit nervous, trying to do the maximum to win.”

The famous Champs-Élysées cobblestones will present challenges to many in the peloton, which is something that Bronzini herself is only too aware of.

“It’s not a typical finish that I like, because there are pavé at the end,” she said. “To win on the cobbles you need to be quite heavy on the bike and I’m one of the lightest sprinters in the bunch! If we finish in a bunch sprint it will be difficult for me to win against the big sprinters but I will try my maximum.”

With the race taking place on the same circuit to be used by the men’s peloton later in the day, including riding around the Arc de Triomphe for only the second time in history, Bronzini knows what an opportunity the race provides to showcase the women’s peloton to the world.

“For us it is a really good experience and I hope that the girls put on a good show; that is the most important thing,” said the former World Champion. “If the people that are there think that women’s cycling can be a good show then maybe we can have another opportunity to have stages at the Tour de France.”

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Managing Director Rochelle Gilmore will be watching the race from the commentary box, where she will be working alongside for British broadcaster ITV4.

“The significance of this event is incomprehensible,” she said. “It will not be until our athletes line up on the Champs-Élysées that they realise the magnitude of this Tour de France event.

“This is history in the making,” Gilmore added, “and words can not describe how proud I am that Wiggle Honda will line up for the first ever women’s Tour de France event, La Course. It’s the most exciting and satisfying moment I’ve experienced in all my years involved in our beautiful sport.”

Bronzini will be supported in the race by Italian compatriot Beatrice Bartelloni, fresh from her Bronze Medal performance in the European Track Championships, German Charlotte Becker (pictured, above), Swede Emilia Fahlin and New Zealand Criterium Champion Emily Collins.

The race will also see the debut of St Kitts and Nevis rider Kathryn Bertine (pictured, below), whose tireless campaigning with groups like Le Tour Entier helped lead to Tour organiser ASO staging La Course for the very first time.

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling line up for La Course by Le Tour de France (Paris, 27th July)
Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
Beatrice Bartelloni (Italy)
Charlotte Becker (Germany)
Kathryn Bertine (St Kitts & Nevis)
Emily Collins (New Zealand)
Emilia Fahlin (Sweden)

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