Giorgia Bronzini prevailed in a thrilling sprint finish to win the women’s road race at the World Road Cycling Championships yesterday, giving Italy back-to-back victories in the event.
Bronzini edged 2006 world champion and perennial runner-up Marianne Vos of the Netherlands, with Emma Johansson of Sweden taking bronze in the 127.2km race in Geelong, Victoria State.
Tatiana Guderzo won last year’s world championship for Italy and was prominent again yesterday, featuring in a late attack, before Bronzini asserted her dominance.
Bronzini described her sprint finish as the best of her career and paid tribute to her manager Franco Ballerini who was killed in a rallying accident earlier this year.
“We are a very strong team,” Bronzini said. “We are the best.”
Britain’s Nicole Cooke, the 2008 world champion, led the first critical attack, opening a small margin as the field crossed the Barwon River, but she was caught soon after.
Guderzo then attacked with a small group that included Cooke and Germany’s Judith Arndt, who finished second in Wednesday’s time trial.
Arndt sprinted first with about 500m to go with Cooke on her wheel, but both were caught and passed by the top three within 200m of the finish line.
Cooke finished fourth and Arndt, who won the road race in 2004, held on for fifth.
Vos has now finished in second place four years in a row.