This is BIG news! There were rumblings at the end of the summer that Diadora Pasta Zara were going to be collapsing at the end of the 2012 season, but then a month or so back, some frankly gleeful tweets started to come from the team that indicated they were doing no such thing.... and I can see why - Giorgia Bronzini is coming back (again) to join them for 2012!
The Italian 2010 and 2011 Road World Champion (and 2001 Junior Points and 2009 Points World Champion) is a major catch. For the last few years she's frequently been on the podium on the road, behind sprinters like Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Marianne Vos and Kirsten Wild - and while she's had relatively few actual wins, they've very definitely been in the races that count! My theory is that she knows exactly how to ride herself into top form - and she's a VERY clever sprinter who can get over hills and stay nicely hidden away in a race until the very last moments, when she appears from nowhere and attacks beautifully!
In the team's announcement, Bronzini says she is focusing on the Olympics - after aiming for another Track World Champ title - and with the Italian team having shown the world they have the best, opportunistic, beautiful road tactics, resulting in Italian wins at the Road World Championships for the last three years, she's a strong contender.
What this means for Diadora's 2012 sprint queen, Shelley Olds, we've still to discover - but Diadora had a strong enough squad to have teams in two races at the same time this year, so it doesn't necessarily mean Olds will be moving. We haven't heard much at all from Diadora in this transfer season - doubtless as they were waiting for this huge big news - let's see what happens next!