Route de France: Unstoppable Giorgia Bronzini wins again in fifth straight stage
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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Route de France: Unstoppable Giorgia Bronzini wins again in fifth straight stage

by Ben Atkins at 1:44 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
General classification stalemate continues as Emma Johansson stands up to attacks

giorgia bronziniGiorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda) proved unbeatable yet again in the 2013 Route de France as she sprinted to her fifth straight victory on stage five, between Saint-Fargeau and Pougues-les-Eaux, despite going on a solo attack midway through the 98.7km course. The former two-time World champion was the fastest of the much-reduced peloton that arrived at the finish, having been depleted by repeated attacks in the two 13.4km finishing circuits.

Despite being put under pressure by her rivals - particularly second overall Linda Villumsen (Wiggle Honda) - race leader Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) sprinted to second place, just behind Bronzini, with Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) taking third.

“It’s something amazing for me,” said Bronzini afterwards. “Some people say that I am old now that I am 30, but maybe I’m now good at using my legs with my head. It was a little bit harder than the other days today, because I worked, and I was in the break.

“Today we started with the tactics to help Linda, to try to take the jersey,” Bronzini explained, “and in the middle of the race, with about 40km to go, we started to attack. When it was my time to attack they let me go!

“I was alone on the attack for 10 or 15km, and the gap was around a maximum of 50 seconds, but when I was alone I rode in my own rhythm, and not full gas. Alone I could do nothing, but I hoped that the other teams like Orica-AIS would lose power trying to catch me.”

Amélie Rivat (Vienne Futuroscope) was the only rider to be able to get clear in the first half of the stage, as the peloton completed 41.6km in the first hour, but the 24-year-old Frenchwoman was only able to get a few seconds clear before being caught. As the pace dropped into the second half, however, the attacks began, and Bronzini made her move.

The Italian was caught on the unclassified climb at the beginning of the first of the two laps, but the attacks began again. Second overall Villumsen managed to get away on the second lap, in an attempt to take back her one second deficit to Johansson, but the Danish-born New Zealander was caught in the final kilometre.

“After the first climb of the first lap, I sat up and waited for the bunch, and when they caught me Lauren Kitchen and Mayuko Hagiwara did some attacks to try to make the race harder,” Bronzini said. “. After that Linda did a very, very hard attack in the last 2km, and she had a little gap that Orica-AIS had to close.”

Having sat in the peloton during her teammate’s attack, Bronzini had been able to recover her strength sufficiently to sprint to an incredible fifth straight stage victory.

“They caught her with 1km to go, and I was in the wheel of Johansson. Someone from the Australian team started to sprint with 300 metres to go, then I came out from the wheel of Johansson and I won.”

Result stage 5
1. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling
2. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS
3. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Rabobank-Liv/Giant
4. Pascale Jeuland (Fra) Vienne Futuroscope
5. Roxane Fournier (Fra) French National Team
6. Chloe McConville (Aus) Australian National Team
7. Alena Amialyusik (Blr) Be Pink
8. Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Boels-Dolmans
9. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini-Giordana
10. Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling

Standings after stage 5
1. Emma Johansson (Swe) Orica-AIS
2. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling @ 1s
3. Amy Pieters (Ned) Argos-Shimano @ 2s
4. Evelyn Stevens (USA) United States National Team @ 5s
5. Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant @ 6s
6. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini-Giordana @ 8s
7. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Rabobank-Liv/Giant @ 9s
8. Thalita de Jong (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant
9. Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Orica-AIS
10. Iris Slappendel (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant @ 13s


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