|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.
Final general classification