Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini won the 13th edition of the Grand Prix Dottignies, in Dottignies, Belgium, to take her first UCI-ranked victory of the 2014 season.
The former two-time World Road Champion was the fastest in the sprint at the end of the 131km race, and comfortably outpaced Shelley Olds (Alé-Cipollini) and Lucy Garner (Giant-Shimano) on the line.
“I’m really, really happy,” Bronzini smiled. “Really, really happy.
“In the beginning of the race we had a little bit of trouble, because we started at the back, and the group was split in a crash after five or six-k.,” Bronzini explained. “14 girls were gone, and we had to chase them with Giant-Shimano. We worked really hard for the first 30km, so after that we tried to control everything.”
Once the big early move had been neutralised Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling managed to keep the race under control, along with the other sprinters’ teams. Some breaks did manage to get briefly clear, but the most dangerous-looking moves were marked by orange and black riders Laura Trott and Charlotte Becker.
With the peloton all together for the last of the 14km laps Trott and Dani King - both making their debut on the road this season after some World-beating performances on the track - brought Bronzini to the head of the peloton, where she was able to do what she did 17 times in Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling colours last season.
“I felt good so the girls did a really amazing job,” Bronzini said. “Everyone. They got into the breaks, they controlled everything.
“When we came into the final lap I asked the girls to stay in front, and in the final kilometre Laura and Dani put me in the right wheel; I was in Lucy Garner’s wheel. When I came out the final 200 metres was a little bit uphill, so it was perfect for me, and it the end it was good!”
The Dottignies course sits just a few kilometres west of Oudenaarde, the site of the previous day’s Ronde van Vlaanderen, just over the border into French-speaking Wallonia. Despite not being able to achieve a good result in the World Cup race, the good sensations felt by Bronzini were still with her in today’s race.
“I had a good feeling in my legs yesterday, so I knew that I was in shape,” she said. “This race today was a little bit different, with only a little bit of cobblestones, and only a little climb. It was another kind of race for sure.”
1. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
2. Shelley Olds (Alé-Cipollini)
3. Lucy Garner (Giant-Shimano)
– but the sailors praise the new boats