Giorgia Bronzini: “I know that she was more tired than me, but for me it was really, really good.”
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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Giorgia Bronzini: “I know that she was more tired than me, but for me it was really, really good.”

by Ben Atkins at 6:54 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, World Championships
 
Giro della Toscana opening stage augurs well for another World championship battle

giorgia bronziniGiorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda) defeating Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) in today’s first road stage of the Giro della Toscana could be a sign that the World championship road race is to see another battle between the two sprint rivals. Bronzini has bested current champion Vos twice in the Worlds road race, in 2010 and 2011; first when Vos was forced to sprint too early to catch a break from Britain’s Nicole Cooke and Germany’s Judith Arndt, and a year later when the Dutchwoman left it too late.

Vos took her second title last year in Limburg, Netherlands, as nobody was able to follow her on the Cauberg climb so close to the finish. With the main climb coming more than ten kilometres from the finish of this year’s Florence course, however, the Italian could well stay with the leaders and compete for the victory.

Bronzini admitted after the stage, however, that the fact that Vos had almost singlehandedly chased down a group of six riders in the final kilometres made the taks of beating her far less difficult than usual.

“It was good, but she worked a lot in the final, so maybe she was… She was alone, and she was tired,” Bronzini told VeloNation after her victory. “I think that she would like to go to the sprint for a minor jersey, the stage jersey for today. But, okay, if she can’t beat me then I’m so happy.

“But I was more fresh than her because she had to pull to catch the break in front of us,” the Italian admitted. “I know that she was more tired than me, but for me it was really, really good.”

The two riders have come up against one another several times this season, with Vos coming out on top in the majority of occasions, but recent years have seen Bronzini taper her form towards the World championships, so the race between the two of them could be wide open.

One thing that the result also shows is that - although Vos was deprived of the services of key lieutenant Annemiek van Vleuten by a mid-stage crash - compatriot (and future Rabobank-Liv/Giant teammate) Anna van der Breggen (Sengers Ladies) was present in the front group of 13 that contested the stage.

marianne vosThe other plus for Bronzini however, was that there were three other Italians in the group, including Rossella Ratto (Hitec Products) - who also beat Vos in the sprint as she took second place - as well as 2009 World champion Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini-Giordana), and 2009 bronze medallist Noemi Cantele (Be Pink). Having recovered from the horrific injuries she suffered in the Italian championships, Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products) took 14th place.

“It mostly was Italian girls, so it’s good for us,” Bronzini laughed.

As well as the possible personal duel between the two riders, the Worlds race looks to be headed for a big battle between the Italian and Netherlands teams.

With Bronzini having taken her stage victory - repeating the win she took on the opening road stage of last year’s Giro della Toscana - and having tested her form on the course’s hilly circuit, she will likely take a step back for the rest of the race so as not to dull her condition before the World championships.

“I will try to stay in this shape, and I will stay with the [Wiggle Honda] team until the team time trial,” she told VeloNation. “I just want to stay in a relaxed atmosphere.

“I’m really, really happy, because the shape is really, really okay, and now I try to stay in this shape,” Bronzini said. “I don’t want to lose too much now, so I will be watching myself.”

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