Emily Collins Is The New Zealand National Champion

Bike NZ Criterium National Championships 15.11.2013

Emily Collins Is The New Zealand National Champion

Emily Collins has won the New Zealand National Criterium Championships, in her home city of Auckland, on the country’s North Island. Despite being marked heavily throughout the 30-minute race, around a 1.1km downtown Takapuna circuit, the 23-year-old capped an attacking performance with a sprint victory over Sophie Williamson from Alexandra, with Karen Fulton of Nelson third.



“I’m over the moon to win the New Zealand Criterium Nationals tonight!” Collins exclaimed. “I went in with a pretty relaxed attitude after coming off a nice off season break, but after a three weeks solid training and preparation from Noosa, plus a bit of motor pacing with my old man, I managed to feel pretty good out there!


“I was keen to be aggressive and make things tough from the go,” the 23-year-old explained. “I was pretty heavily marked, so it proved a bit difficult to create a gap. Sophie Williamson was the key contester and made things nice and heated throughout! I ended up deciding that my best chances would be to hold off for a sprint kick, so I tucked in for the final laps, but stuck in the top-three in a good position.


“A solo rider took a flier the final lap and no one chased, so I decided to go for it with three-quarters of a lap to go,” she continued. “I managed to almost close before the chasing peloton reconnected, and I luckily hung in for a good kick to take the win.”



Collins took Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s first ever road victory, in the Omloop van het Hageland, in Belgium, back in early March, and is rounding off an excellent 2013 season as she finishes the year with the form in which she started it.


“I’m very pleased to win this on home soil,” she smiled. “I’m an Auckland girl so was great to have some favourite supporters out edging me on! I’m thrilled to get another National title for Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling!”




1. Emily Collins (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Sophie Williamson (Alexandra)

3. Karen Fulton (Nelson)

Laura Trott Reclaims Omnium Title at European Track Championships

IMG_1942Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Laura Trott reclaimed the Omnium title that she first took in 2011, despite a crash in the Elimination Race that left her needing stitches, at the European Track Championships, in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. Finishing tied on points with Netherlands powerhouse Kirsten Wild, with 15 each, Trott’s superior time in the final event, the 500 metre time trial, meant that the Olympic champion took the victory by almost a third of a second. Belgium’s Jolien D’Hoore took the bronze medal at the end of a close contest with 18 points.



Wild took the lead in the competition from the start, with victory in the Flying Lap, but Trott was able to stay in touch with third. D’Hoore then won a hard-fought Points Race, with Trott and Wild taking second and third respectively.


Trott was then brought down in a crash in the Elimination, along with several other riders, but managed to remount and continue despite her injuries. Unfortunately, however, the incident meant that she could only manage third in what is her speciality event. D’Hoore took the victory again, ahead of Wild, which meant that the Dutchwoman ended day one of the competition with a slight lead.



Wild then took the Individual Pursuit at the beginning of day two, which saw her open up a three-point advantage over Trott, who took second. The Dutch road sprinter then also took the Scratch Race, with D’Hoore second and Trott third, which meant that the British Olympic champion faced a five point deficit heading into the final 500-metre time trial.


A time of 36.025 seconds was good enough to give Trott second place in the the-lap event and, with Wild only able to manage seventh, the two riders ended the competition tied on 15 points. This meant that the winner would be the rider with the lowest accumulated time over the three timed events and, despite Wild winning both the Flying Lap and Individual Pursuit, Trott’s time in the 500 metres was so much faster that it meant victory was hers.




1. Laura Trott (Great Britain)

2. Kirsten Wild (Netherlands)

3. Jolien D’Hoore (Belgium)

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini took her 14th stage of the 2013 season



Giorgia Bronzini

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini took her 14th stage of the 2013 season so far as she sprinted to victory in the first stage of the Tour de l’Ardèche, between Rochegude and Beauchastel. The former two-time World champion crossed the line at the end of the 120.9km stage more than a length clear of the race for second place, with Australia’s Tiffany Cromwell beating Italian Elena Cecchini (Faren-Kuota).



With much of the peloton finishing together, and with no time bonuses available, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Linda Villumsen still holds the race leader’s pink jersey, thanks to her prologue victory yesterday. Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Lauren Kitchen also remains in third place, having been protected during today’s stage.


“It wasn’t in our plan to try for a bunch sprint, but to save Linda’s legs,” Bronzini explained. “To keep the jersey if we can.


“During the stage we saw that the climb was not so hard, so Linda spoke to me and asked if I felt good for trying to arrive in a sprint. I said ‘okay, I’ll try to save my legs, and we can do that.'”



With Villumsen and Kitchen protected, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Charlotte Becker. Emily Collins and Mayuko Hagiwara worked hard to hold the peloton together all the way to the finish.


“All the other girls worked from the long climb to the finish line so that the other teams didn’t try to get into breaks,” Bronzini explained. “It was really, really amazing work from Lotte, Emily and Mayuko. We were also saving the legs of Lauren, because she is third in GC, so we tried to make sure she didn’t lose so much power.”


Bronzini took six stages in a row in last month’s Route de France, but the Italian concedes that the very different terrain of the Ardèche region makes it highly unlikely to be repeated this week.


“I think that it’s not going to be the same way as the Route de France,” she joked. “From tomorrow there starts a lot of climbs, so it will be very hard for me. But I will try to work hard for Linda.”




1. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Tiffany Cromwell (Australia)

3. Elena Cecchini (Faren-Kuota)



Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini has broken the all-time record



Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini has broken the all-time record

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini has broken the all-time record for consecutive stage wins in a women’s stage race as she sprinted to her sixth victory in the 2013 Route de France. The former two-time World champion, who has stood on the top step of the podium on every day of the race apart from the opening prologue, outclassed the rest of the peloton yet again as a 46-strong group arrived at the finish line in the historic French city of Vichy.


Despite working hard for Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammate Linda Villumsen throughout the stage, Bronzini once again crossed the line a length clear of second place, British champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans), and third place Amy Pieters (Argos-Shimano).



“It’s absolutely unbelievable!” Bronzini said of her record-breaking sixth victory. “I could never imagine this happening, but I’m happy and I must have good shape!”


For Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling, the object of the stage had been for Villumsen to try to take the one second she needs to take the gold jersey from Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS), who has held the race lead since the prologue.


“The first part of the stage was quiet, then at halfway some teams started to attack, like Rabobank, America, and us,” Bronzini explained. “There were so many attacks from us, from Mayuko Hagiwara, Lauren Kitchen and I.


“Then in the final ten-K there was a break of three, and Linda did a big attack to try to catch them, and to try to get a gap. So she was out front alone, and nobody from Orica-AIS could catch her, so Johansson tried to attack herself to try to catch Linda.”


With the breakaway attempt foiled, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling reverted to plan b, to get Bronzini another stage victory, even if the Italian herself thought that this would be impossible.


“On the last climb I gave all of my power to help Linda to stay in the front of the group,” Bronzini said. “I gave all that I had, and on the descent I told Linda that I was finished, but Linda said that we should try for the sprint, even if we don’t win. She and Lauren put me in a good position, and we were close to the front with one-K to go.


“Someone started to sprint on the left side, and the team that was in front of us followed them and left a way for us. It was incredible! Lauren started with about 500 metres to go, with me on her wheel, and she gave me a very, very good lead out.


“When she finished her sprint I began mine, with 200 metres to the finish, and the others just stayed in my wheel.


“It was unbelievable, because it was a hard race for me as I was working, and trying to do something for Linda, but I think that when all things are positive you have more power. The girls believe in me, and give me more power, so we are the strongest team in the race.”



With just one stage remaining in the Route de France, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling has one last chance to lift Villumsen into the race lead and, with a far tougher parcours in store, the whole team will be behind the Danish-born New Zealander once again.


“Tomorrow will be hard,” Bronzini confirmed. “There is a big climb near to the finish, so we will start again with the mentality to help Linda. She was also in good shape today, and we will try to be in front with her when she needs us.


“Tomorrow we will give our all for Linda, to do everything we can to take the jersey.”



1. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans)

3. Amy Pieters (Argos-Shimano)


Photo credit: Laurent Duflot


Giorgia Bronzini Sprints To Victory In Giro Rosa Stage Two


Giorgia Bronzini Sprints To Victory In Giro Rosa Stage Two

Giorgia Bronzini Sprints To Victory In Giro Rosa Stage Two


Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s former two-time World champion Giorgia Bronzini won the second stage of the Giro d’Italia Femminile – the Giro Rosa – in the town of Pontecagnano Faiano on Italy’s Tyrrhenian coast in a flat out sprint. The 29-year-old Italian managed to outpace current World champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) on the line at the end of the 99.6km stage, made up of four laps of a 24.9km circuit. Bronzini’s compatriot Barbara Guarischi (Vaiano-Fondriest) was third.



Having helped out her teammate in the run to the finish, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Emily Collins still managed to take fifth place on the stage.


“I felt good in the climb, really good, so I told the girls that I wanted to have a go at the sprint,” said Bronzini afterwards. “In the last lap there were some attacks from the Pasta Zara team, and I asked the girls to go onto the front and pull the group to chase the break. I chose to stay in Vos’ wheel, when she had a train into the finale; my teammates were working so hard to chase the break, that I said ‘you chase the break and I’ll stay in the other train.’


“When I was in Vos’ wheel Charlotte Becker and Rochelle Gilmore were next to me, just in case something happened to me,” she added, “but I was in the train of Vos – it was perfect on Vos’ wheel – and I went in the last 50 metres.”


With the confidence gained in last week’s hilly Italian championship course, Bronzini was keen to show that she is more than just a sprinter, and put in a fierce attack on the second ascent of the circuit’s main climb.


“I did that one time to check my legs, and also to surprise the others, because they didn’t understand!” she laughed.



“I felt really good, but in that kind of finish the best rider is Vos, that’s why I only came out in the last 50 metres, because we had a headwind. We finished so close together, but in the end I won, so it’s good!”


The victory is Bronzini’s fifth in the Women’s Giro d’Italia – previously known as the Giro Donne – but her first since she took the opening stage of the 2007 edition.


“I’ve waited for this moment for many years,” she smiled. “I think it’s because I feel so good in this team. I’m so proud of my teammates, and they give me a lot of energy for the final sprint.”




1. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant)

3. Barbara Guarischi (Vaiano-Fondriest)


5. Emily Collins (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycli

Dani King (Wiggle) Wins First Ever Women’s Milk Race

Danny King wins Inaugural Milk Race for Women

Danny King wins Inaugural Milk Race for Women

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s World and Olympic champion Dani King took a stunning victory in the first ever women’s Milk Race, in Nottingham’s historic city centre, as she escaped the peloton after just 20 minutes and soloed to the finish. Having ridden away from the best riders in the British women’s peloton, King powered around the 1.2km city centre circuit, increasing her lead lap on lap, to finish more than a minute ahead of the chasing bunch.



“I’m really, really happy to get my first win for the Wiggle Honda team,” King said after the race. “It was great to put my hands up in the air.


“I had a plan going into the race to just sit tight for the first part, and Elinor Barker and Amy Collins were just covering any moves that went,” King explained. “Then after about 20 minutes I launched an attack and I managed to stay away.


“I just kept going for the whole race,” she added. “I think I was alone for about 40 minutes. There was an amazing crowd out that kept me going.


“I think the biggest gap I got was about a minute and a half, so it was just getting bigger every lap. It panned out brilliantly; I kept the pressure on the whole time and the gap never got smaller, so it was a perfect race really, I can’t complain!”

[Read more…]

Giorgia Bronzini Second On Final Stage And Overall In Luxembourg Elsy Jacobs Race


Luxembourg Elsy Jacobs Race

Luxembourg Elsy Jacobs Race

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Girogia Bronzini was narrowly beaten into second place in the second and final stage of the Festival Luxembourgeois du Cyclisme Féminin Elsy Jacobs, in Mamer, Luxembourg. Having been beaten in the sprint the previous day, World and Olympic champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) attacked into the final bend with half a kilometre to go, and managed to hold off the rest of the peloton all the way to the line.

Former two-time World road champion Bronzini outsprinted the rest, just a few lengths behind Vos, ahead of Swedish champion Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) [Luxembourg champion Christine Majerus (Sengers), who finished fourth, is pictured on the podium].


“It was a bit chaotic coming into the finish,” explained Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling directeur sportif Simon Cope. “It was a very, very fast run final kilometre, with a right hand bend with 500 metres to go – off-camber and downhill – then with about 250 metres to go there was a chicane.

“Vos jumped into the final bend and got a gap over the rest of the field,” he added.

The race, also known as the GP Nicolas Frantz, was made up of a 54.1km opening loop five laps of a 9km circuit. Unlike the previous day’s stage, however, the peloton did not split up on the repeated climbs and arrived at the finish more or less together and ready for the sprint. The Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team once again did a good job protecting Bronzini from the wind, so that the Italian sprinter would be as fresh as possible for the final dash for the line.

Unfortunately Bronzini was just unable overhaul Vos once the World and Olympic champion had escaped on the final corner. Time bonuses on the line meant that overnight leader Vos held on to win the race overall, but Bronzini moved up to second place, just nine seconds behind her.


“You can’t fault it really,” said Cope. “It was a pretty good effort. Vos must have been confident with that finish, to be able to take Giorgia on, rather than take it to the line. If it had been a straight, normal, head to head sprint I think the race would have been slightly different.

“It’s good, but it’s just a shame that Giorgia couldn’t quite finish it off because it would have been the first stage race that she’s ever won,” he added.


1. Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant)
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
3. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS)

Final general classification
1. Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant)
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
3. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS)



A Tough Debut For Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Riders In La Flèche Wallonne


Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling endured a hard day in la Flèche Wallonne, the fourth round of the women’s World Cup, with Olympic champion Joanna Rowsell the team’s best finisher, in 46th place, after she was just unable to hold on to the fierce pace being set on the final few climbs of the race.



With Anna-Bianc Schnitzmeier the only rider on the team to have experienced what is arguably the hardest women’s one-day race, and with double Olympic champion Laura Trott making her debut in the World Cup, it was to be a day of survival for the young riders of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling. [Read more…]

Laura Trott (Wiggle) Best young Rider

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s double Olympic champion Laura Trott

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s double Olympic champion Laura Trott

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s double Olympic champion Laura Trott ended the day in the best young rider jersey after a chaotic first stage of the Energiewacht Tour in the north eastern Netherlands.  The 20-year-old was one of three Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling riders to make it into the 22-rider lead group as the peloton split in the crosswinds that always characterise the Dutch stage race. 

Olympic champion Dani King was Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s best finisher in tenth place, with Australian Lauren Kitchen in 13th place, and Trott 17th.

“It was a good ride by all of them to make that selection,” said Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling directeur sportif Simon Cope. “They were making the selections all day.”

As well as the strong Dutch winds causing chaos in the peloton, the race had to be stopped four times as the riders were first sent off course, and then came across a closed railway junction and an open bridge as the race went outside its scheduled time.

Each time the 22 rider were allowed to restart first, with the rest of the peloton held back until it they had opened up their original lead.

“They’ve obviously looked at timings for the trains, and bridges and things, and once you go outside the fastest and slowest average speeds they put down the whole race gets screwed up,” Cope conceded. “So there’s no point trying to point the finger or anything, it’s just what it is.

“To get three riders in that group was good,” he added. “It would have been slightly different without the mishaps; I think Ana-Bianca Schnitzmeier’s group would have definitely got back on to that group.”

As the only under-23 rider to have made the selection, Trott has a comfortable lead over the next riders in the classification.

“Laura was the lone young rider in the group,” Cope confirmed. “She’s got a lead of one minute and one second.”

Dutch sprinter Kirsten Wild (Argos-Shimano) took the stage as she broke away in the closing kilometres with three compatriots. Wild beat Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon) in the sprint for the line, with Iris Slappendel (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) taking third. The group containing Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s King, Kitchen and Trott finished just ten seconds behind the winner, keeping all three riders in overall contention.

1. Kirsten Wild (Argos-Shimano)
2. Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon)
3. Iris Slappendel (Rabobank-Liv/Giant)

10. Dani King
13. Lauren Kitchen
17. Laura Trott
27. Ana-Bianca Schnitzmeier
58. Rochelle Gilmore
66. Emily Collins

Update-Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling

Wiggle Pro Cycling

Wiggle Pro Cycling

Giorgia Bronzini was Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s best finisher in the tenth edition of the women’s Ronde van Vlaanderen – the third round of the 2013 World Cup – as the former World champion sprinted to 13th as part of a big peloton that finished 4’33” behind the winning group.  The result, which matches that of Lauren Kitchen in last week’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda, earns Bronzini eight points in the World Cup classification, and lifts Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling into the top ten of the team rankings.


“Our goal was the top ten, and Giorgia wasn’t that far away,” said Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling directeur sportif Simon Cope. “I think she did a really good ride for the course, as it’s not her type of course at all.

“It was unlucky in some respects,” Cope added. “We lost Lauren early on, due to a crash; then Ana-Bianca Schnitzmeier crashed as well, but she made her way back up. She had such a long chase, but when she got back she did a really good job for Giorgia.

“We didn’t do anything wrong, there were just a lot of crashes and we were a little bit unlucky,” he added. “On the whole it was a very good performance.”

Current World champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) won the race ahead of Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon) and Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) after the three of them escaped with Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products) on the climb of the Oude Kwaremont with just over 25km to go.


1. Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant)
2. Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon)
3. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS)

13. Giorgia Bronzini
58. Ana-Bianca Schnitzmeier
72. Mayuko Hagiwara