By Owen Rogers
After a quieter day at the Giro d’Italia Femminile it was Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) who won the bunch sprint to take stage two on Sunday. Behind her, Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) narrowly pipped Shelly Olds (Alé Cippolini) for second place, extending her overall lead to 21 seconds.
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Saturday’s stage had been harder than many expected and it seemed the peloton decided to take stage two relatively easy, though the 41.3kph average speed told a slightly different story. Hitec Products and Alé Cipollini maintained control of the pace, hoping to deliver sprinters Chloe Hosking and Shelly Olds to the finish.
Such was their strangle hold on the race that no break went clear until well over half the 120km distance had been covered. Even then Alexandra Burchenkova (Rusvelo) was alone when when she escaped, ultimately building a lead of one minute and 45 seconds. The 25-year-old Russian was caught, however, with 20km to race and the scene was set for the sprint.
Former World Champion Bronzini, second behind Vos twice at the Women’s Tour, was understandably pleased: “With a few kilometres to go the girls were all around me,” she said afterwards. “The finish was technical and dangerous, so it wasn’t good for a lead out, so I asked them to bring me to Vos’s wheel, and I just tried to follow her and to beat her – and I did!”
Yesterday’s result has done little more than shuffle the top 10, though tomorrow’s stage is likely to have a more lasting effect on the general classification. The peloton will travel the 125.3km north from Caserta to the first mountain top finish of the Giro at San Donato Val di Comino.
Giro d’Italia Femminile, stage 2
1. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda)
2. Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv)
3. Shelley Olds (Ale-Cipollini)
4. Carmen Small (Specialized-Lululemon)
5. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Rabo Liv)
6. Barbara Guarischi (Ale-Cipollini)
7. Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS)
8. Glada Borgato (Estado de Mexico-Faren)
9. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo Liv)
10. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS)
Overall classification after stage two
1. Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv) in 5-38-50
2. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo Liv) at 21 secs
3. Elisa Longo-Borghini (Hitec Products) at 29 secs
4. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) at 1-50
5. Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) at 1-50
6. Claudia Lichtenberg (Giant-Shimano) at 1-53
7. Anna van der Breggan (Rabo Liv) at 1-54
8. Ashleigh Moolman (Hitec Products) at 2-00
9. Annemiek van Vleuten (Rabo Liv) at 2-12
10. Audrey Cordon (Hitec Products) at 2-13
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