Amanda Spratt: The making of one of the world's best climbersMon 29 Oct 2018
World championship silver medallist Amanda Spratt will approach the next two seasons with Mitchelton-SCOTT with a new solidified reputation as one of the world's best climbers.
The Australian outfit has helped nurture Spratt through the past seven seasons since she turned pro, which has seen her steadily progress into one of the strongest climbers in the professional women's peloton. This improvement came to the forefront in 2018 as 'Spratty' stamped her authority in races, stepping up a level and turning heads as she enjoyed her best season to date.
With highlights such as a podium finish at the Giro-Rosa, whilst riding in support of her teammate Annemiek van Vleuten, plus an impressive second place finish in a tough edition of the UCI Road World Championships, Spratt demonstrated a tenacity and relentlessness.
The Mitchelton-SCOTT family is excited to see what Spratt can achieve over the next two years with her new-found confidence and winning ways.
A 2018 break-through:
“This year has definitely been my best season, I set really clear goals and really put my hand up as a leader. The team believed in me and this also gave me a lot of confidence. In general, I feel that the whole team has really stepped up a level this season so when your teammates are so strong as well, this really makes a difference.
“I have really improved my climbing this season, I'm really proud of the work I did with my coach Gene Bates for this goal and especially introducing some climbing-specific altitude camps into my program really helped.
"It's still hard to believe that I am one of the best climbers in the world. I always have the feeling that I can and need to improve so I probably do find it a bit hard sometimes to sit back and reflect on what I have been able to achieve this year."
The 31-year-old believes her transition this season into becoming a consistent winner comes down to experience and taking confidence from the team and racing alongside the likes of world time trial champion Van Vleuten has enabled Spratt to learn a lot and also race aggressively as teammates, utalising their numbers at the front of the race.
“I think this year has just been a progression but it's true that I have made a huge step up. I think last year, in the Giro-Rosa in particular I realised that I really can be one of the best in the world. This gave me a lot of confidence heading into this season that I can be capable of more than what I probably realised myself.
“On top of that when you have the team and your teammates believing it too and willing to sacrifice their own chances for you then you want to get a result even more. The Giro this year will always be a highlight of my career for this fact alone - how hard my teammates worked every single day to give Annemiek and I the best chance for the win.
“It's also been really fun this year to be at the level now where I am consistently in the front group in the finals of races. Being able to use our numbers and especially with Annemiek has been a huge advantage for our team. Annemiek is a winner herself but she is also a leader who is very generous with her knowledge and she is someone that I have definitely spent a lot of time with and learnt a lot from. We are similar riders with very similar goals but I think we are also very honest with each other about how we can manage these goals and expectations so I think that has also really helped to get the best out of each other.”
The journey continues:
After such an incredible season, this only leaves the Australian climber itching for more and with a stable environment to work in, Spratt is determined to achieve with Mitchelton-SCOTT in 2019 and 2020.
“I have been with the team now for seven years, since it started, and it's a special team to be a part of. I have so much trust in our staff and in our equipment that I know being the best in the world is possible on this team. Seven years can be a long time to be in one place, but when I think about it then I see that I am constantly improving.
“I’m more motivated than ever and I love the people I get to work with so in the end this made me realise that this is the best place for me. It feels like home and I am very happy to stay with the team for 2019 and 2020."
“Next season I want to step up again. When I look at my 2018 season I see a lot of great results but I also see so many points where I can and need to improve so whilst I am satisfied, I am more hungry than ever to get better. My preparation for the Ardennes this year was quite disrupted due to chilblains on my feet and then the flu so I know that my preparation for these races can be a lot better in particular.
“The Giro will of course be another big goal for the team and I want to be in top condition there and then I also have an eye on the world championships in Yorkshire. It's also really important to me that I can support my teammates towards their goals as well so I'm also really looking forward to playing a support role in some key races throughout the season.
"This year I have also learnt some tough lessons off the bike - but one thing I really appreciate about this team is that they want to develop and help you as a person, not just an athlete, and this is a quality in the team that I really value.”
Date of Birth: 17th September 1987 (31)
Place of birth: Penrith, New South Wales, Australia
Turned Pro: 2012
2018 key results:
1st Santos Women's Tour - Stage 3
1st Santos Women's Tour - General Classification
1st Emakumeen XXI Bira - Stage 4
1st Emakumeen XXXI Bira - General Classification
1st SwissEver GP Cham
1st Giro-Rosa - Stage 6
2nd UCI Road World Championships
3rd Giro-Rosa - General Classification
Photo courtesy of Getty Images