Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini sprinted to her third podium finish of the 2014 Giro d’Italia Femminile with second place in the seventh stage, between Aprica and Chiavenna.
The former two-time road World Champion, who won stage two of the ten-day race, was beaten to the line on the sharply rising finishing straight by current rainbow jersey and race leader Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) but managed to hold off Swedish champion Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS).
“I’m pretty happy with that because I wasn’t sure if I would be there at the finish,” Bronzini said. “The race started on fire at the bottom of a climb - and the start was given at the bottom of the climb - but it was a long climb and I managed to get back on on the descent.
“Then on the second climb I was a little bit back, but the break of seven riders got away - including Linda Villumsen - and Charlotte Becker got me back in to the bunch."
“The other teams had to pull, because they had missed the break, which was perfect for us,” Bronzini explained. “After the break was caught a lot of riders tried to get away but we were all together in the final kilometre and there was a good lead out from [Orica-AIS] and [Specialized-lululemon].
“The final was a little bit technical, and a little bit uphill. I managed to get onto Vos’ wheel, but I was a bit closed in and couldn’t start my sprint when I wanted. Vos started her sprint but I had to wait, and I couldn’t catch her.”
The fast, 91.8km stage began immediately with the second category climb to Teglio, but the peloton stayed together for most of the first half. A seven-rider group, including Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Villumsen, escaped soon afterwards, allowing the rest of the black and orange team to keep Bronzini safe in the bunch.
The break was caught inside the final 20km, with Bronzini taking her second second place of the Giro Rosa, to add to her stage victory.
“I’m happy with my race,” the Italian said. “Whenever the stages ended in a sprint I was always on the podium and I won one. I’m really happy. Tomorrow I will do what I can for Linda and Mayuko [Hagiwara] in the big climbs, but then I think I will be in the gruppetto!”
1. Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv)
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
3. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS)
Courtois Straight Through to the Semis
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day