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Wiggle Honda well on course after solid Ronde van Vlaanderen performance

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s performance at the Ronde van Vlaanderen – the Tour of Flanders – shows that the team is on track for the big targets approaching, feels team manager Rochelle Gilmore. Black and orange riders Charlotte Becker and Giorgia Bronzini finished the 139km race in 16th and 18th respectively, in a group 1’21” behind race winner Ellen van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans), but were significantly just 20 seconds behind the battle for the podium places.


“The girls rode well,” said Gilmore after the race. “We don’t really have a Classics rider and we’re looking to peak for the Tour of Britain and the Chinese World Cup in May, so we’ve not really peaked yet with our lead riders. We rode well and we proved that everybody’s level is lifting; to still have five girls there with 30km to go is pretty good.

“I’m happy with the level we’re at, and the timing and everything,” Gilmore added, “and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the Brits go tomorrow and at the Energiewacht Tour.”

Two-time road World champion Bronzini was a victim of one of the numerous crashes that hit the peloton in the early kilometres of the race. She was not badly hurt, but the fall affected the Italian a little.

“It was a big crash and I fell on the other girls, so I just had a handlebar on the leg,” Bronzini explained. “That leg was a little bit sore though, and I felt it a little bit on the cobbles later on.


“In the finale I was in a little bunch with Lotte after the last climb, and tried to work because the little bunch was only ten seconds for us, but when she came up to work the others stopped. It was impossible that Lotte alone could catch seven girls.

“In the end we were a little bit sad because we were only [20] seconds away from second place,” Bronzini added, “so if someone had given us a hand we could have fought for the podium.”

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling will be joined by British Olympic and World Champions Laura Trott and Dani King, as well as New Zealander Emily Collins, in tomorrow’s GP Dottignies, where Bronzini is optimistic that the team can perform well again.

“We have three fresh girls tomorrow, so I hope that they can be ready and, if we arrive in a sprint I will give everything again,” she said.

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Australian Peta Mullens was riding her very first Ronde van Vlaanderen and, despite some pre-race nerves, finished safely in the peloton alongside teammate, Swedish Champion Emilia Fahlin.

“I was pretty nervous after doing recon, because even recon-ing the course is really hard. I reckon they’ve pretty much given us the toughest 140km of the men’s race!” Mullens laughed.

“It kind of settled down after the first two cobbled sections, and it didn’t really ramp up again until the last three sections. But with 20km to go I started vomiting, with 10km to go I started cramping; I was just a mess really, and I was pretty glad to see the finish.

“For me, especially as I’m not European, Flanders is such a massive race in Australia – with everybody up until two or three o’clock in the morning watching them – it was a little bit surreal for me,” Mullens said.


“Riding up the Paterberg just seemed like a sort of dream to me,” she added. “It’s hard to describe to the Europeans, because it’s just so normal to them. I was going up the Paterberg and gasping for oxygen, and all I could smell was the cigarette smoke, the beer, the frites… it was really surreal, I was a bit caught up in the moment really…”

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling will line up at tomorrow’s GP Dottignies with Charlotte Becker, Giorgia Bronzini, Laura Trott, Dani King, Emily Collins and either Emilia Fahlin or Rochelle Gilmore.

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