Double world road champion Giorgia Bronzini is one of the star names confirmed for the new DTPC Honda team in 2013, a squad managed by Rochelle Gilmore and whose backers include Bradley Wiggins’ Wiggo Foundation.
After taking back to back world titles in Geelong in 2010 and Copenhagen in 2011, Bronzini admitted that she was looking forward to riding without the weight of the rainbow jersey for the first time in two years.
“I’m very enthusiastic about this new experience,” Bronzini told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I feel ready for this step and I’m expecting a lot from next season. Without the rainbow jersey, I’ll have less pressure and more possibilities.”
While the hilly nature of the Valkenburg world championships meant that a second title defence was always unlikely, Bronzini shone earlier in 2012, a season in which the London Olympics road race was the primary target.
“The end of year report is good but not great,” she admitted. “I had five wins and 5th place in the Olympics but catching flu two days before the Worlds weighed on me.”
The Piacenza native will begin her campaign at the Tour of Qatar on January 30 and she is looking forward to lining up in a team that features a number of riders who are aiming to transfer track success onto the road, notably Laura Trott, Dani King and Joanna Roswell, who captured the team pursuit for Britain at the London 2012 Olympics.
“I know them well and I hope that they put the same work into the road that they did on the track,” said Bronzini, who applauded Bradley Wiggins’ decision to support a women’s team. “It’s a nice feeling, although I’d like to have Bradley’s ability in the time trials, pursuit and on the big climbs…”
Like Wiggins, Bronzini has switched between road and track throughout her career and indeed a major target in 2013 will come on the boards rather than on the road. Already a world champion in the points race in 2009, Bronzini is looking to regain that title next year: “The track Worlds in Minsk at the end of February will be the big objective, I’ll ride the points race and scratch race.”
With the wearying climb to Fiesole as its centrepiece, the course for the road world championships in Florence appears too difficult for Bronzini to score a hat-trick of rainbow jerseys, but she is nonetheless determined to play an important role on the Italian team on home roads. “I’ll work towards it in order to ride well there,” she said.