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Spratt daring to dream of a fourth consecutive Santos Women's Tour Down Under victory

Wed 18 Dec 2019

 

Three-time winner of the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under, Amanda Spratt, will return to Adelaide in January with high ambitions of etching her name deeper into the history books, as she dreams of a fourth consecutive victory at the event.

Over the past three years, Spratt has displayed unwavering dominance at the Australian race, picking up stage victories in each edition on her way to securing the overall title. 

With a tough but unpredictable parcours for 2020, the two-time world championship medallist is ready for the challenge of continuing her unbeaten run.

Daring to dream:
If Spratt were to complete a four-peat in 2020, she would be the first ever rider, male or female, to take four successive victories at the Tour Down Under. 

The 32-year-old would equal the record of four total victories, an achievement currently only held by Simon Gerrans, and enhance Mitchelton-SCOTT women’s unbeaten record at their home race, having claimed victory every year since the event’s inception as a UCI race in 2016 (2016 - Katrin Garfoot, 2017/2018/2019 - Spratt).

“I’ve won three times before and I know in January my form is good and it is a period of the year where I always want to be in good form, so there’s no reason why I can’t think that I can win again next year and make it a four-peat,” Spratt explained.

“I enjoy the pressure of returning as a defending champion and that pressure is something I have become quite used to over the past two or three years.”

“For me it is just exciting to be going there to a home race, and especially Tour Down Under, it is just getting bigger and bigger every year. There’s always so much support, there’s so many people cheering for you and next year my parents are coming so it will be good to have some home town support. It is a pretty special feeling, you almost feel famous for that week of the TDU rather than feeling a lot of pressure.”

Unpredictable Course:
During the past three editions, Spratt secured the overall titles by launching her signature move - attacking on the most testing of climbs. In 2019, the Australian waited until the summit finish on stage two, up Mengler Hill, and put 39 valuable seconds into her rivals. However for 2020, the absence of a distinctive and decisive climb lends itself to a more open and energetic race.

“The course next year isn’t as predictable as the last years,” Spratt acknowledged. “Last year with the Mengler Hill finish, you knew that was probably going to be the decisive day for the GC.”

“It is a bit more of a dynamic course for 2020, it will still be tough and I’m sure there will be a few surprises. It will be very interesting without one main climb where you can put time into people. We will have a strong team again so I think we can go in to the race thinking we can win.”

Starting with a hat-trick of wins already to her name, Spratt knows she will have a target on her back as the red hot favourite but the Australian remains confident that the team has what it takes to come away with the victory and continue their unbeaten run. The focus is on winning in any scenario.

“If I can win four times it would be amazing,” Spratt continued. “All eyes are going to be on me but maybe there is a scenario where a teammate can get up the road and that can be good for us as well. The priority is that the team walks away again with the Ochre jersey.”

Amanda Spratt’s Results at Santos Women’s Tour Down Under:
2019:
   - 1st General Classification
   - 1st Stage 2
2018: 
   - 1st General Classification
   - 1st Stage 3
   - 1st Mountain Classification
2017:
   - 1st General Classification
   - 1st Stage 1

2020 Santos Women’s Tour Down Under - Stages:
Thursday, 16th January: Stage 1, Hahndorf - Macclesfield, 116.3km
Friday 17th January: Stage 2, Murray Bridge - Birdwood, 114.9km
Saturday 18th January: Stage 3, Nairne - Stirling, 109.1km
Sunday 19th January: Stage 4, Schwalbe, 42.5km 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images 

 

 

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