Day 1 of The Friends Life Women's Tour has drawn to a close and what an incredible day it was. We were lucky enough to grab a casual chat with Wiggle Honda's Giorgia Bronzini. And despite the fact that she is currently suffering from a nasty cold, we are happy to report that this world class sprinter was as charming as ever!
Today was an exciting day, can you describe the atmosphere?
It was incredible, I could barely come out of the hotel for getting my picture taken. It was really nice. I was expecting something like that because yesterday when we were in the press conference there were so many journalists, which was really amazing for us. The people here, they’re following us and cheering for us, and that’s really cool!
You are obviously suffering from a bad cold, that’s no secret. How has that affected you in the run up to the event?
Well, I’m here for work, but when you are suffering from this kind of chill you really feel it.
Did you have any low moments in the stage today?
When it started to rain! Because I was already feeling cold, and I really hate the rain, in general. At that point, even more! But then after a while it dried up and it was okay, and I could focus on the finish.
If you have a low moment in the race, do you have a particular technique you use to overcome your low moment?
I remember that it’s not the first time for me – I’m 30, so it’s nothing new! So I say ‘Okay, Giorgia, if you don’t get to the finish line with your body, you try to get to the finish line with your head.’ That’s my solution.
Also today I wasn’t in the best shape, but in the finish line I had to fight for my place. It’s important for me, for my teammates and for the team itself.
If I said ‘I’m sick, I’ll stay at the back’ then all the responsibility would be on the shoulders of my teammates, and that’s not fair. If we had a second sprinter, then yes, I’d say ‘today is not my day’ but in the kind of sprint we had today it was better that I took responsibility.
You obviously had a strategy coming into today’s stage – would you say your strategy for today went to plan?
We wanted to see what the other teams did, because this event is new for everyone. There was a bit of a nervous atmosphere in the race group because nobody wanted to take the work into their own hands. Nobody wanted to say ‘we are the best team and we ride how we want to ride.’ Only the two sprinters who raced for finish.
For my team, I said that we should remain relaxed, because it’s the first day and we didn’t want to get too tired. I said ‘we should try to follow the others, and if we arrive in a bunch sprint, you stay next to me and work for me’, and in the end that’s what happened. It was as we expected.
Do you still get scared when you are reaching eye watering speeds on steep descents?
Sometimes I feel scared when I follow Vos because she is a little bit crazy. About two years ago, in Luxembourg, I followed her around the last corner and I fell off my bike. I don't know how she stayed on the bike. In my head I thought if she can take the corner at that speed I could too but straight away my bike was away from me and she went on to win. So she must be able to do something on the bike that I cannot do.
The older I get the more responsible I get. When I was young I put myself into the sprint but in the years when you become more responsible so I save my body and the bodies of the others so I think of what I am doing and I try to think of everyone. I am not scared of the speed and the downhill but I do try and stay safe.
How do you unwind and relax after each stage and prepare yourself for the next stage?
Often I begin the race in a slow condition and build as the race goes. But this time I don't know if I will get better as I am sick. For the legs, day by day I will be better, I am pretty sure about that.
To relax after the race I like to talk with other people but this time I am on my own in the room because I am sick so I talk on the phone I watch a movie and try to relax. But I prefer to stay with the girls and chat but at the moment I really don't want anyone else to get sick. I was sharing with Dani King but after the first night she said 'Georgia I have to go'
Who are you racing for at The Women's Tour?
This is not my time but I hope it is the time of one British girl. For us it would be a dream to get a breakaway with Laura (Trott) or Dani (King), it would be really good to bring them into a good position. This is their country, they are so excited to be here and they want to show people what they can do. If I can be important for them and help them I will be happy.
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