Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling?s Giorgia Bronzini has taken her first win of 2016 with an emphatic sprint victory in the GP Dottignies, just inside the French-speaking Walloon region of Belgium. The former two-time road World Champion crossed the line well clear of her nearest rival, fellow Italian former World Champion Marta Bastianelli (Al?-Cipollini), after having been expertly led out by teammate Chloe Hosking, while last year?s winner Roxane Fournier (Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope) was some distance back in third.
?The team did an amazing job from the beginning,? Bronzini said afterwards. ?In the first lap I had some mechanical problems, as someone crashed behind me and took out my derailleur, but I was back in the bunch in half a lap. We just tried to be represented in every breakaway.?
The first of eight 14.6km laps saw the incident that caused Bronzini?s rear derailleur to be damaged by a rider crashing behind her. The Italian was able to quickly jump onto her spare bike and, during the course of the next lap, Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling?s mechanic Gerrit Claessens was able to replace the broken part and restore the rider to her number one bike.
The laps many corners, as well as its long cobbled section, saw many breakaway attempts, but nobody was able to get away far enough to threaten the sprinters. Having won the race back in 2007, and again two years ago, Bronzini was the obvious favourite for victory and she was able to deliver thanks to excellent work from her team.
?In the end it came to a sprint, and the girls understood that they had to bring me to the front in the last kilometres, and that Chloe would guide me for the sprint. I was in Chloe?s wheel for the whole of the last lap, and she led me out with two corners to go. We went so fast into the last corner that we had a gap, so she made it really easy for me to do my sprint!
?My thanks go to all the girls, who believed in me today, and they all did an amazing job for me again.?
Starting the race with just five riders, Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling brought in youngsters Amy Roberts and Lucy Garner, alongside the more experienced Hosking and Audrey Cordon-Ragot, who had both ridden in yesterday?s Tour of Flanders.
While there were several attempted breakaways – several that included Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling riders – none was able to stick, largely thanks to the efforts of the black and orange team.
?Amy and Lucy did a really good job, and there was a lot of communication,? Bronzini explained. ?Chloe was the team captain and she made sure that they had enough information in the race, and all of them did a good job. Audrey and Chloe came from Flanders yesterday, but they really gave everything for me today, so I really need to say thanks to all the team.?
1. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
2. Marta Bastianelli (Al?-Cipollini)
3. Roxane Fournier (Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope)