Giorgia Bronzini showed her world road champion pedigree Thursday, winning her second stage in a row at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. Bronzini (Colavita-Forno D’Asolo) outkicked Chloe Hosking (HTC-Highroad) on the uphill finish to nab the stage 3 win in the Cannon Falls Road Race. Teresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita) came through for third.
Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co.-Twenty12) finished safely in the bunch to maintain her overall lead of 23 seconds over Evelyn Stevens (HTC).
The Diadora-Pasta Zara team of defending champion Shelley Olds and Steven’s HTC squad clearly wanted to make a hard race for Armstrong and her Peanut Butter & Co.-Twenty12 teammates, and the women were as aggressive as the parcours was hilly early. Olds and teammate Rachel Neylan, Carmen Small (Tibco-To the Top) and Rushlee Buchanan (Colavita) were among the attackers, but by the time the peloton approached the finish circuits, the race was together with about 25 riders at the front.
Armstrong led the bunch over the half-mile dirt approach to the 1.9-mile loop. From there the game was on. Peanut Butter & Co.’s Lauren Tamayo tagged onto fourth overall Amber Neben (HTC) when the former world TT champion jumped halfway through the six-lap finale. The bunch scooped them up and it was groupo compacto headed into the last lap.
Just as she did Wednesday in Saint Paul, Cliff-Ryan gave Bronzini a perfect set-up and Hosking couldn’t match the Italian’s finishing strength.
Stage 3 unofficial results
1. Giorgia Bronzini (Colavita-Forno D’Asolo)
2. Chloe Hosking (HTC-Highroad)
3. Teresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita-Forno D’Asolo)
GC after stage 3
1. Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co.-Twenty12)