World champion points to Olds as wildcard for women's road race
World champion Giorgia Bronzini believes the London 2012 Olympics women’s road race might prove to be a tense, tactical affair, something which she feels could play to her advantage. The Italian won her second consecutive world title in Copenhagen last September by beating Marianne Vos in the bunch sprint at the end of a race that was deadlocked for much of the day.
"Honestly, anything could happen," Bronzini told sportpiacenza.it. "In Copenhagen, some countries committed the error of not attacking from distance, leaving everything in the hands of the sprinters. Will that repeat itself? Who knows, it will depend on the tactics they adopt, but I do think that it could be a waiting race."
Bronzini expects to renew her rivalry with her fellow world championship medallists in London, namely Vos and Ina Teutenberg (Germany), but she warned that Shelley Olds (USA) was not to be under-rated. The American took a stage victory ahead of Bronzini at the recent Giro Donne, a race in which, in Bronzini’s opinion, Olds “really shook up the deck."
"My rivals should be the usual ones, from Vos to Teutenberg to Cooke (Great Britain), but that’s not counting the outsiders, like Shelley Olds, who had not been included in the group of contenders for the win," Bronzini said.
As was the case at this point in 2011, Bronzini’s campaign in the rainbow jersey has yet to fully ignite. Her world title win put an altogether different slant on her season, and she is hoping for more of the same in London.
"My season has been low-key because I was out injured for a month right when I would have had the chance to take some results," she said. "This prevented me from having something concrete to show for my efforts. Let’s put it this way – I’ve built up a bit of anger to use in this race."
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