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No luck for Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling in Ronde van Drenthe World Cup

There was no luck for the riders of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling in the Ronde van Drenthe, the opening round of the 2013 World Cup, as crashes and punctures cost the team any chance of a good result. In heavy rain, and temperatures barely above freezing, two-time World champion Giorgia Bronzini was the team’s best finisher in the 133km race, in 24th place, after suffering a puncture at a crucial time.

“We came into the first cobble section and all was good,” Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Anna Bianca Schnitzmeier explained. “Giorgia and I made the selection and our group was just 30 riders strong, but then the bad luck got us. 200 metres before the last section was finished Giorgia punctured. We swapped our wheels as quickly as we could and Giorgia made it into a little group behind the front group with [Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammates] Mayuko [Hagiwara] and Emily [Collins].


“My race was over in this moment,” Schnitzmeier added. “The neutral motorbike just needed ages to get me a spare wheel, but my captain came back and that was the most important thing.”

The race was won by World champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) after she attacked over the final ascent of the VAM-Berg climb, a man-made hill that covers a former landfill site. Vos was joined by Dutch compatriot Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon) and the two riders worked together until the finish, where the World champion won the sprint to take her third consecutive Drenthe victory. Swedish champion Emma Johansson (Orica-GreenEdge) finished third after escaping a group of chasers on the run to the finish.

“I think ‘luck’ is the word, actually,” said Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling directeur sportif Simon Cope. “I don’t think we did anything wrong, other than just have a bit of bad luck.

“Lauren crashed early, so we lost her, although she fought her way back to the group. -there were so many crashes today, it was unbelievable – and when it hit the cobbles there were groups everywhere.


“It was just bad luck,” he surmised. “We had to use three riders to get [Bronzini] back to the front, and obviously that left us with no one.

“We couldn’t have done anything different,” Cope said. “It’s our first puncture all year, with Qatar and this is our fifth race in Europe. A lot of other teams have had a lot of problems, so we haven’t done too bad; it’s just unfortunate that it was the first World Cup.

“It was pretty bad today,” he concluded. “Only fifty riders finished I think.”

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