Spratt 9th as Mitchelton-SCOTT women safely get through the first sprint stage at the Giro-RosaSat 7 Jul 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT women finished today’s first sprint stage of the Giro-Rosa safely, to remain in contention overall after a hot and hectic day in the saddle.
Two escapees animated the final part of the race, and it was touch and go if they would be brought back before the finish line in Ovada. In the end it turned out to be a day for the sprinters, with Kirsten Wild (Wiggle-High5) edging out other sprint favorites to steal the stage win, with Amanda Spratt the highest places finisher for Mitchelton-SCOTT in ninth place.
The race leader's jersey swapped shoulders to Lucinda Brand (Sunweb), but with no real time gaps or other major changes to the overall, Mitchelton-SCOTT sit in a comfortable position with eight stages to come.
Together before two escape
With plenty of hard hilly days ahead, it appeared that teams were happy for things to remain much together for the first half of the 120kilometre day.
A few riders tried their luck with attacks and others increased the tempo towards the intermediate sprints, however, the elastic didn't snap until the second half of the race when one rider, Shelya Gutierrez (Cylance), broke away solo.
As she crossed the finish line with 65kilometres to go the Spanish rider held one minute ahead of the bunch. Soon after Alice Arzuffi (Bizkaia Duarngo) successfully bridged across to make the workload easier and the two riders maintained their advantage.
Splits in the bunch
Despite being labelled as a sprint day, the stage contained move than 1000metres of climbing which was obvious after a large bunch of riders dropped on the third category GPM climb of the day.
By this point duo at the front settled into a good rhythm and worked well together to increase their lead out to over three minutes. With a hesitant chase behind, the pair led into the final ten kilometres still with a sizeable and dangerous gap.
Sprint teams take it on
In a last minute dash, the chase was on and the duo where finally caught inside the final kilometre and a messy peloton charged for the line. Wild came out on top with Mitchelton-SCOTT sprinters, Sarah Roy and Jolien D’hoore losing contact with each other and drifted out of good position. Spratt worked to say up near the front and crossed the line inside the top ten.
“It was a hot and stressful first day of the Giro, we just wanted to say at the front and in control and we did a really good job of that actually. We were totally fine with the two being up the road, we are looking at the GC and we know we can bring back minutes there later.
"For us it is not all about the stage wins and we also don’t have the jersey so we were happy to let that duo go. It was up to the leaders, Team Sunweb and teams like Wiggle-High5, who are after stages, so we didn’t feel the responsibility today.
“It was really crazy in the sprint, people were everywhere. Gracie (Elvin) was looking after Annemiek (van Vleuten) and myself, we didn’t want any time gaps at the finish so our job was just to stay up there out of trouble and be as close to the front as possible.”
“We decided to go for Roy today, because it was a perfect finish for her being slightly uphill and she was feeling really strong and we thought maybe I would be dropped today, so I was really happy to still be there.”
“For the last 20kilometres, I tried to stay with Roy and that worked out pretty well. I said just pick one team and stay on that wheel and I will stay behind you, because everybody was thinking I would sprint so it would make it easier for her.
“In the end we tried to sprint but it was so hectic, people came from the left, right, everywhere and it was really hard for Roy to keep the wheel and eventually we lost each other. This stuff happens, especially in the Giro-Rosa, it is always nervous and special sprinting but we will try again tomorrow."
Giro-Rosa stage 2 results:
1. Kirsten Wild (Wiggle-High5) 3:22
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance) ST
3. Marianna Vos (Waowdeals) ST
9. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
General classification after stage 2:
1. Lucinda Brand (Sunweb) 3:40
2. Leah Kirchmann (Sunweb) ST
3. Ellen van Dijk (Sunweb) ST
8. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:04
Photos courtesy of Getty Images