Despite a severe numerical disadvantage, two-time world champion?Giorgia Bronzini?(Wiggle Down Under) beat the odds to win stage three of the Santos Women?s Tour, the first event in the Subaru National Road Series. Bronzini was the lone Wiggle Down Under representative in an eleven-women front group that contested the stage finish, comfortably outsprinting no less than four Orica-AIS riders for line honours in Campbelltown.
Stage two victor Melissa HOSKINS
(Orica-AIS) claimed second place while her teammate and race leader Valentina Scandalora rounded out the podium – maintaining her hold on the Tour. ?I?m really happy because my team counted on my race, so I think they deserved that because we worked hard for the win,? said Bronzini who climbed her way into the lead group inside the final 35 kilometres. ?Also we are really happy because Nettie [Edmondson] won the intermediate sprint which was the plan. It was really hard to do but we?ve done it so I?m really happy.? The stage stood out as the hardest of the tour, with the King of the Mountain point at Checkers Hill promising to provide some fireworks. It didn?t disappoint, with the race breaking into small groups on the climb before a scramble down the Gorge to Campbelltown. Earlier on?Rebecca Wiasak
(High5 Dream Team) and Nicole Whitburn
(Individual) attempted to escape the throngs of the peloton however neither attack would gain much traction?and at the bottom of the hill the race was all together again. Race leader Scandalora, together with reigning NRS champion Ruth Corset
(Total Rush Hyster) attacked up the hill before being joined by nine others, including Bronzini. The race broke into four main chase groups with riders scattered over several kilometres. ?There were four Greenedge (Orica-AIS) riders so it was stupid if I rolled in front, so I waited and sat back while some of the girls attacked. It was pretty simple about the tactic, but not simple about the riding,? said the 2014 Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic champion. Scandalora retains her six second advantage ahead of seven other riders, including second placed Hoskins while Corset moves into third place. The Santos Women?s Tour concludes tomorrow, with a criterium around Victoria Park. 2015 Santos Women’s Tour: Stage 3 Photo Gallery Text via Cycling Australia Media Release