A close second and third place on the first GC day at the Santos Women’s TourFri 12 Jan 2018
The second stage of the Santos Women’s Tour saw the general classification contenders battle it out on Menglers Hill with a fight all the way to the line. New signing for 2018, Lucy Kennedy, had a strong ride to finish in a second place behind former team rider Katrin Garfoot who edged her out to take the stage two victory.
Last year’s overall winner Amanda Spratt claimed third place, crossing the line just eight seconds behind with time trial world champion Annemiek van Vleuten following behind to take fourth place.
Despite not coming away with the victory today, Mitchelton-SCOTT displayed impressive teamwork and commitment, controlling the peloton and causing splits in the numerous crosswind sections throughout the rainy 101kilometre day.
With two opening laps around Lyndoch including two ascents of the Whispering wall, Mitchelton-SCOTT decided to put the pressure on early, asserting themselves and testing the legs of the peloton both times up the short climb.
After 45kilometres of racing the wind suddenly picked up and the race heated up once again. The Australian outfit, keen to split up the race further, committed at the front of the peloton, lining things out in the cross wind.
The bunch eventually regrouped but another significant crosswind section appeared at the 80kilometre mark and five Mitchelton-SCOTT riders were present in the a new leading split of 18riders. However, like before and after a turn into headwind, the main peloton regrouped once again with 15kilometres remaining, but now with many tired legs in the race.
The real fireworks, as expected, occurred up the final climb as the team rode hard into the bottom to set things up for the three climbers. Van Vleuten made the first attack, thinning the bunch and ultimately leaving just seven riders out front, then Spratt and Kennedy continued to try and get away, attacking one after the other but unable to shake Garfoot, the pair eventually had to settle for second and third place.
“The team had a super day, it was a great team effort. We had a plan to make it hard and that started already on the first climb. The girls were just amazing, they really looked after Lucy and I and gave us the best opportunity going into that final climb.”
“It was more like being back in Europe with the crosswinds, rain and cold so it was a whole different level of stress today. We were always looking out for the crosswinds and I think we managed it well, we were really united as a team out there.”
“We tried to get rid of Kat in the final but she was so strong, she’s a classy bike rider so he have to be satisfied with second and third.”
“It’s another lumpy day tomorrow and we are in a great position now with second, third and fourth place overall so we will definitely have some options to play our cards.”
“It was a tough day with the crosswinds, it wasn’t just about the final climb we did a lot of work leading up to it but the legs were good. To be second in a race like this is a big step so I am certainly hungry for more.”
“When it was down to just myself, Spratty and Kat in the final we just couldn’t shake her, every time we went she was right on the wheel.
“Just coming into the small climb before Menglers my chain came off so I was really lucky to have my teammates Jess Allen and Alex Manly behind me, they were able to push me and help me actually stay in the race and contend the final.”
Stage two results:
1. Katrin Garfoot (UniSA) 2:43
2. Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
3. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:08
General classification after stage two:
1. Katrin Garfoot (UniSA) 5:52
2. Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:04
3. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:14
Photos courtesy of TDWsport