Kennedy takes her first European victory for Mitchelton-SCOTT with a solo attack in Durango-DurangoMon 20 May 2019
Jayco Herald Sun Tour winner Lucy Kennedy claimed her first race victory in Europe for Mitchelton-SCOTT today, after a brave solo attack in the one-day Basque Country race, Durango-Durango.
The 30-year-old had teammate Amanda Spratt for company in a breakaway that contained many of the race favourites. The duo used the numbers to their advantage, allowing Kennedy to sneak away and hold on for the win, with Spratt patrolling the chase before taking second place behind to make it a successful and dominating day out for Mitchelton-SCOTT women.
The 113kilometre race began with five opening laps of a circuit before two challenging local finish laps that included a tough climb to contend with.
The pace was on from the start with plenty of attacks yet nobody was able to breakaway in the early stages. The bunch was still together after 30kilometres of racing and past the first intermediate sprint.
The winning breakaway
On the undulating roads, tired legs began to appear in the bunch as a dangerous group started to ride away from the peloton.
Ten-riders including Spratt and Kennedy quickly got into formation and began working together well to establish a gap over the rest. With all the main teams represented, the group continued to grow their advantage.
The 10 leaders extended their time gap out to over five-minutes as they entered the the hard local finishing laps, knowing the winner would come from within the group.
Kennedy goes on the attack
After a big effort by Spratt ot the start of the Alto de Goiuria climb, Kennedy counter attacked over the top, showing her form and climbing legs to open up a small advantage.
The Australian continued to push on ahead, cresting the top of the Alto de Goiuria climb for the first time with a gap over the chasers to take top points in the Queen of the Mountain classification.
Despite never gaining more than 40seconds, Kennedy continued to power on ahead as the kilometres ticked down, doing enough to hold off the chase and take the race victory, 26seconds ahead of teammate Spratt.
“It's my first European win with the team so it feels very special. In this team, it's an honour just to be given the opportunity so I'm glad I could make it count.
“We didn't expect to have us climbers in a break, but once that break formed it was perfect for us. Spratty kept me really calm and the plan for her to attack first on the first hard climb and for me to go over the top of that worked perfectly.
“The plan was to make it solo, but it was a little nerve-wracking when the gap was just hovering. When I reached the top of the last climb I was pretty confident I could hold them off.
“It's a nice confidence builder ahead of Bira, we know we have a great team for this type of racing.”
1. Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 2:56:37
2. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:26
3. Soraya Paladin (Ale-Cipollini) ST
Photos courtesy Getty Images