Bronzini makes history in France with sixth straight stage win

The Italian rider has won the first six stages at the Route de France, losing only the prologue

Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda) won her sixth straight stage at the Route de France on Friday, a record in women’s professional cycling.

Bronzini won stage 6 in a bunch sprint to the line, which has been the common theme all week. The Italian came up short in the opening prologue but has been undefeated since.

“It’s absolutely unbelievable!” Bronzini said in a team release. “I could never imagine this happening, but I’m happy and I must have good shape!”

Bronzini out-sprinted 45 other riders in the main group to claim victory ahead of Elizabeth Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) and Amy Pieters (ARW). The 127-kilometer stage took the riders from Pougues Les Eaux to Vichy.

Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) maintained her overall lead, which she first took after winning the prologue. Linda Melanie Villumsen (Wiggle Honda) is one second back, while Pieters is another tick slower in third. American Evelyn Stevens (U.S. National Team), the 2012 race winner, sits five seconds behind Johansson in fourth.

“Someone started to sprint on the left side, and the team that was in front of us followed them and left a way for us,” Bronzini said. “Lauren [Kitchen] started with about 500 meters to go, with me on her wheel, and she gave me a very, very good leadout. When she finished her sprint I began mine, with 200 meters to the finish, and the others just stayed in my wheel.”

The race ends Saturday with the 130.2km stage 7 from Cusset to Chauffailles.