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Bronzini maintains lead with second place in Zhoushan Island stage two
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini maintained her overall lead in the Tour of Zhoushan Island as she sprinted to second place on the second stage of the race. In a chaotic final few hundred metres the former two-time World champion was just beaten to the line by Norwegian Cecilie Johnsen (Hitec Products) at the end of the flat 89.7km stage. Chinese Taipei rider Huang Ting Ying finished third for the second day in a row.
“It was extremely close,” said Bronzini’s Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammate and team manager. “There were only centimetres in it but, because it was such a slow race – an easy race – the finish was extremely chaotic, with a lot of the riders from smaller teams having full power because they’d done nothing in the race, because the race was really slow.
“It was a little bit messy,” she added. “Giorgia had Beatrice Bartelloni to lead her into the last 200 metres, but then she was a little bit isolated because it was a really big, wide road, and very windy. So she didn’t have a dream run.”
In contrast to the previous day, stage two of the Tour of Zhoushan Island was raced over a completely flat course – much like those of Chongming Island the previous week – which meant that the peloton stayed together for the entire distance.
“There weren’t so many attacks but the girls were always present at the front, and they kept control of the bunch to stop the breakaways,” said Bronzini afterwards. “It was only in the final that there was a lot of confusion in the last kilometre, and so I was a little bit scared that someone would crash.
“I’m sad about the result, but it was a chaotic sprint, because no one was tired for the finish because it was an easy race,” she continued. “We must think of tomorrow, for the jersey. I have 11 seconds on Longo Borghini and tomorrow will be a climbing stage again. For sure she will attack me and I must try and stay in her wheel, and for sure that’s not going to be easy but I will try.
“Maybe the anger from today will be good for the power tomorrow,” Bronzini smiled.
Courtois Straight Through to the Semis
12. December 98
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day