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Giorgia Bronzini wins Giro Rosa Stage Two

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini won today’s second stage of the Giro d’Italia Femminile in Frattamaggiore, in the province of Naples, in a technical bunch sprint. The former two-tome road World Champion managed to outpace current rainbow jersey and race leader Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) at the end of the 120km stage, with Shelley Olds (Alé-Cipollini) third.

“With a few kilometres to go the girls were all around me, and I asked them to put me on Vos’ wheel, because that’s where I wanted to be,” Bronzini explained. “The finish was technical and dangerous, so it wasn’t good for a lead out, so I asked them to bring me to her wheel, and I just tried to follow her and to beat her – and I did!”

The stage, based on six laps of a mostly flat 20km circuit, saw a lone attack from RusVelo’s Alexandra Burchenkova at just after halfway. The Russian rider managed to get more than a minute clear of the peloton, but the teams of the sprinters managed to keep her under control and pull her back in the final lap. Michela Fanini’s Valentina Bastianelli then tried to get away in the final kilometres, but her attack was also doomed as Bronzini and the other sprinters were not to be denied.

“The girls did amazing work all day,” Bronzini said of her Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammates. “They tried to protect me, to stay in front. The team worked so well, and I’m really proud of that. I thank the girls, and the staff, and the victory is for the team. I know that [team manager] Rochelle Gilmore is behind us. She’s not here, but she is with us, and I want to thank her for the amazing job she does behind us.

“The problem today was to ride safe, because there were big holes in the road for the whole lap. But the lap was nervous, and I like that kind of race. It was set alight in the middle when Burchenkova got away, but she was chased down before the finish.”

The stage victory was Bronzini’s career sixth at the Giro Rosa, and the second straight year she has won stage two. With a hillier finish to tomorrow’s third stage – between Caserta and San Donato Val di Comino – suiting the climbers, Bronzini will be looking to support her teammate, Japanese champion Mayuko Hagiwara.

“Tomorrow’s stage will finish on a climb, so it won’t be easy for me to be up there, but we have the ‘Mayuko climber,’ and we hope she can take her chance,” she smiled.

1. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv)
3. Shelley Olds (Alé-Cipollini)

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