ORICA-AIS wrap up the Boels Rental Ladies Tour with eighth on the final stage

Sun 4 Sep 2016

Australian champion Amanda Spratt was the highest place finisher for ORICA-AIS today in eighth place on a tough final stage of the Boels Rental Ladies Tour.

After a fairly flat stage which concluded with a  bunch sprint yesterday, the riders took to the Ardennes for a hilly challenging final day. 

The peloton shattered to pieces over the Cauberg the first time with Spratt able to ride herself into a leading group of seven riders. After numerous attacks and changes to the lead the stage was eventually won by Kasia Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv). 

Sport director Gene Bates was pleased with Spratt's efforts and the team’s overall showing through the six-day race.

“Spratt rode really well today,” said Bates. "She was in the early move which was probably the best thing for her in the end."

"We were a little nervous with her being in a move so early on but behind the race was just breaking up, so she actually had a good ride up front, nice and steady until the next group came across.

“Amanda was looking for an opportunity to get away but in the end the pace was just to quick and it all came down to the final climb."

Throughout the six-day tour the Australian outfit achieved one stage victory, a second and a fourth place finish in bunch sprints along with today's top ten finish in the hills. 

"Our number one goal this week was a stage win, which we achieved," Bates continued. "To match it with a second place and fourth place in the sprint stages is fantastic. We can walk away really happy."

"A really great week for the team, everyone handled themselves well this week and we can walk away pretty happy." 

How it happened:

The final stage of the six-day tour saw the riders head to the rainy start line in Maastricht ready for a challenging 114kilometre stage.

With many climbs ahead, including four times up the famous Cauberg climb, the race was on for the final stage victory and overall classification. 

During the first part of the stage different riders rode away solo, however non were given any freedom and soon retuned to the bunch ahead of the main climbs.

As the peloton headed to the Cauberg for the first time significant splits began to occur with a group of seven riders, including Spratt for ORICA-AIS, breaking away over the top of the climb.   

One other rider quickly bridged across to make it a strong leading group of eight riders that quickly opened up a two-minute advantage over the now fragmented peloton.

As the escapees headed over more and more climbs, a second group of eight riders managed to crawl their way back up to the leaders to form a new large front group of 16.

Now as one, attacks began to follow with teams trying to create a more manageable small leading group. Eventually, Roxanne Knetemann (Rabo-Liv) went away solo and was joined by two others as the race hit 25kilometres to go. 

The trio rapidly established a one-minute lead over the larger chase group of now 24 riders.

The penultimate time up the Cauberg created splits once again in the chase group as 12 riders broke away and began to close in on the trio of leaders. 

Spratt, the solo representative for ORICA-AIS, was present yet again at the front, eventually placing eighth. 

The Australian outfit wrap up a solid week of racing, satisfied with a stage victory from Sarah Roy and a close second place finish from Loren Rowney.

Boels Rental Ladies Tour stage 6 results:

1. Kasia Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv) 3:24:21
2. Ellen Van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans) +0:03
3. Alena Amialiusik (Canyon-Sram) ST
8. Amanda Spratt (ORICA-AIS) +0:21

Final general classification:

1. Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) 15:35:01
2. Ellen Van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans) +0:03
3. Alena Amialiusik (Canyon-Sram) +0:41
13. Amanda Spratt (ORICA-AIS) +2:55