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The 2015 cycling season according to Bronzini

Two-time world champion Giorgia Bronzini sounds off on the season ahead and the state of women's cycling after day one in Qatar

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DOHA, Qatar (VN) — The women’s 2015 season is reaching full speed with the Tour of Qatar this week in the Middle East, where two-time world champion, Italian Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) sat down to forecast winners of the stage race, cycling’s newest talents, and the direction of her sport.

Personal aims: “It’s an important year for me ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics. My goals are in the in the Giro d’Italia Femminile, where I’d like to come away with a few stage wins, and in a few of the World Cups like China, Philadelphia, and Germany. And why not also add on a third title in the world championship road race in America?! It’s going to be a demanding season with different goals during the year, but I’ll try to be in form for those dates.”

Richmond worlds course: “We’ve studied the maps and profiles, and talked to some riders that know the area. It’s going to be hard for a world championship race. I think it’ll be like Ponferrada in Spain last year: hard, but with a sprint finish. It’s a race for me, but I’ll prepare and work with the Italian team in the lead-up.”

The Tour of Qatar: “I’ve never been a favorite in Qatar because, it’s no secret, I don’t like the wind. In Qatar, it’s all about the wind! I’m in a strong team this year, and I’m going to make myself available to my Wiggle-Honda teammates.”

Qatar winners: “The overall will be won by a rider who’s able to remain at the front to fight for bonus seconds, stay in the major splits and place consistently well. I have a list of four riders who I’m watching: Emma Johansson [Orica-AIS], my teammate Chloe Hosking, Shelly Olds [Bigla] and Ellen Van Dyke [Boels-Dolmans].”

Paris worlds: “The track world championships are at the end of February [18 to 22], so a few riders like myself are using Qatar’s flat and fast roads to prepare for Paris. I’m trying to do so.”

The new generation: “Italians Valentina Scandolara [Orica-AIS], winner in Australia last month, and Barbara Guarischi [Velocio-SRAM]. They are making good leaps ahead. Looking abroad, the 2014 junior world champion, Dane Amalie Dideriksen in team Boels-Dolmans is a good young rider who’s improving well. And, even if I’m somewhat biased because she’s on my Wiggle team, I think highly of Belgian Jolien D’Hoore.”

Women’s cycling: “They’ve added some races, like Strade Bianche and Santos alongside the men’s Tour Down Under, and they’re good for us. I hope we can put on a good show so that the other important race organizers step up and create more women’s races. We need to entertain the fans, though, so that way they want more races for women.”

Women’s Tour de France: “It used to happen and now there’s a rumor it could come back. I’d like that idea, but right now we already have La Route de France that is more or less our Tour de France, even if it’s not exactly the same. I hope that in the years to come we can have our Tour de France, as well.”

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