Spratt steals the show on stage one of the Santos Women´s TourSat 14 Jan 2017
Former Australian champion Amanda Spratt has stolen the show on the opening stage of the Santos Women´s Tour after attacking to claim an impressive solo stage victory into Meadows.
The recent Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic stage winner has displayed great form in the early part of the season and today´s dominating performance gives her and ORICA-SCOTT a dream start to the four-day home race, the first UCI race of the 2017 season.
“I am really happy I could pull it off for the team today,” explained Spratt. “We had a plan to attack a lot in the final and try to get a move away and that´s exactly what we did.”
“It was a hard day out there, we went and had a look at this stage a few days ago so we knew it would be hard and we knew it would be up to us to dictate the pace after our successful performances recently.
“We probably felt the pressure a little bit but we knew we had to make the race hard and we did that really well. Everybody in the team really pitched in and gave it everything they had.”
In an attempt to split up the race, ORICA-SCOTT attacked multiple times with around 17kilometres to go and created a smaller leading group. Spratt made a perfectly timed counter attack off teammate Katrin Garfoot and was able to create the race winning move, going clear with two other riders coming into the final 10kilometres of stage one.
“I felt strong coming into the final climb when I was with Rushlee Buchanan (United Health Care) and Janneke Ensing (Ale-Cipollini)." Spratt continued. “Rushlee dropped off and I knew Janneke is a strong sprinter so I really didn’t want to take her to the line.”
“I waited until the final part of the climb and attacked her, then I just gave it absolutely everything all the way until the finish line.”
Along with taking the stage victory today, Spratt now leads the overall standings, the points classification and mountains classification leaving sport director Gene Bates very pleased with the outcome of the day.
“Today went to plan, we knew the final 20kilometres of the race is where we could make the difference.” explained Bates. “The idea was to support Garfoot and Spratt and lead them into the first climb well and the girls did a great job of that they really split the race up there.”
“It was a matter of using our numbers until they could get away in a good group and thats essentially what Spratty did, so it is a really perfect start for us.”
How it happened:
With the best ever field comprising of 17 teams and 102 riders at this year´s Santos Women´s Tour it was set to be a tough opening stage to the four-day tour.
After the feed zone at the 63kilometre mark, defending champion Garfoot launched an attack to test the waters, but the move was immediately shut down.
It was with around 20kilometres to go when the main action happened, as ORICA-SCOTT attacked relentlessly to create a smaller manageable from which Spratt attacked again and rode clear with two other riders.
Buchanan dropped off the pace as the lead trio headed towards the challenging 700metre steep Queen of the Mountains sprint just four kilometres from the finishing line, leaving Spratt alone with just Ensing.
Using her experience Spratt waited and launched another attack near the top of the climb enabling her to ride away solo and take the stage honours.
Tomorrow the Santos Women´s Tour heads to the centre of Adelaide for stage two criterium race which preludes the elite men´s People´s Choice Classic.
Santos Women´s Tour stage one results:
1. Amanda Spratt (ORICA-SCOTT) 2:51:01
2. Janneke Ensing (Ale-Cipollini) +0:19
3. Katherine Hall ((United Health Care) +0:59