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Nettie Edmondson a close second in Route de France Stage One Photofinish

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Nettie Edmondson missed out on victory by the narrowest of margins in the opening stage of the 2015 Route de France, between Avon and Briare, as she was beaten in a photofinish by Lucy Garner (Liv-Plantur). The double track World Champion crossed the line just millimetres behind the British sprinter, at the end of the shortened, 109km stage, after having been led into the finishing straight by French teammate Audrey Cordon-Ragot. French sprinter Roxane Fournier (Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope), while Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling) was fifth.

“We knew it was going to be technical, but no so technical, so it was a bit messy with a couple of kilometres to go,” Edmondson said afterwards. “Everybody thought there was still four kilometres to go, so there was a bit of miscommunication, but luckily Audrey saw me and she told me to hop on her wheel.

“I thought it was going to be a little bit too early, but all of a sudden we were at 2km to go, and because it was so technical she did a brilliant job taking me to about 500 metres to go. Then it was a little bit too early, so I had to decide whether to hit it and just go, or to use someone else’s lead out for the final 200 metres; so I chose the latter option. I reckon I went a little bit too late, in hindsight, but I managed to get second on the line, so that was pretty cool.”

“It was a photo finish,” the World Champion added. “I don’t know how close it was: I haven’t seen an arial shot. I was pretty certain that I got second, but I’m pretty good at throwing my bike – I’ve won a lot of races on the track from doing that – so I thought there might have been a slim chance that I’d got it. But I was pretty sure I got second.”

Thanks to her attacking style, in defiance of the almost completely flat parcours, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Japanese Champion Mayuko Hagiwara was awarded the Most Aggressive Rider Prize at the end of the stage.

“It wasn’t very eventful. Most teams were happy with a bunch sprint,” Edmondson explained. “There were a few attacks throughout the race, but not much at all, but I didn’t mind that because it suits me.

“Mayuko attacked, but nothing got away. If she’d have got away then it would have put pressure on the other teams, which would have been good.”

With little in the way of challenging terrain, however, Hagiwara’s attempt to escape the peloton stood little chance of success on the flat roads south of Paris.

“French flat is different to Belgium and Holland flat,” Edmondson laughed. “It was rolling most of the day, and there were a couple of hills, but not enough to break it up.”

1. Lucy Garner (Liv-Plantur)
2. Annette Edmondson (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
3. Roxane Fournier (Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope)

5. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)


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