UCI Road World Championship 2010: Giorgia Bronzini, as a tribute to Franco Ballerini
If Giorgia Bronzini’s win in the road race of the UCI Road World Championship 2010 does not really come as a surprise, the same cannot be said of the manner in which she won the event! Indeed, the 27- year -old Italian won a very tight sprint in front of Dutch rider Marianne Vos (2nd) and Swedish Emma Johansson (3rd), beating them right on the line after a magnificent sprint.
When Nicole Cook (GBR) attacked on the second last downhill section of the circuit, and even more so when Judit Arndt (GER) joined her just six kilometres from the finish, it seemed that the race would come down to a duel between the two experienced riders –who record the most impressive achievements. There was very little doubt at that stage that the title would go to one of them. The two champions were still working very well together coming into the slight uphill leading up to the line and the peleton was seemingly reduced to fight for the bronze medal. However this was overlooking the motivation of the contenders to the rainbow jersey who, far from giving up, finally managed to catch Cooke and Arndt.
The title was finally played out in a bunch sprint, won by the Italian specialist. She surged out of nowhere and outclassed her rivals by more than one bike length. She succeeds to fellow Italian woman Tatiana Guderzo, winner last year in Mendrisio (Switzerand). Cooke and Arndt finished an unhappy fourth and fifth.
Giorgia Bronzini already had a taste of the podium during the world championships in Stuttgart, in 2007, where she finished third, and also won the rainbow jersey twice during the UCI World Track Championships. Today, she was torn between joy and emotion:
"Today is the most beautiful day of my life! I want to dedicate my win to Franco Ballerini (note: Technical commissaire of the Italian team who tragically passed away in February, in a car rally accident) I rode for him."
The Melbourne World Championships, in which riders of five different nationalities were crowned in as many races, will end with a flourish tomorrow with the Elite Men Road Race.
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