Italian sprinter Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda) powered to her fourth consecutive stage victory in the Route de France on Wednesday, finishing a bike length clear of Orica-AIS's Melissa Hoskins in Briare.
“I never won four days in a row before!” Bronzini said. “Never. I’m so happy, and so proud for the team.”
The two-time world champion has profited from a string of stages without mountains, and the 140km fourth stage was no exception. “It was quite an easy day because this stage didn’t really have any climbs,” Bronzini said. “It was very flat, and sometimes it was windy, but not strong enough to make a gap.
“Some teams - like MCipollini-Giordana, the Russian team and the American team - tried to go in a break, but we controlled the race, and we were in every break. So it was perfect today, and we arrived in the last two kilometers in a big bunch."
Though she has an unprecedented string of stage wins, taking the 11th win of the year today, Bronzini is still 31 seconds behind race leader Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS), a gap created in the prologue.
The team will now focus on trying to get Linda Villumsen, who is one second off the race lead, into the jersey.
“For sure tomorrow we will be together and I will try to do a good job to think about the jersey,” said Bronzini. “It’s time to think of the jersey. It’s already the fifth stage and we must do the maximum to try to take that jersey, so tomorrow I will work for the team."