Spratt finishes in the front group to maintain her lead in the Santos Women´s TourMon 16 Jan 2017
Santos Women´s Tour stage one winner Amanda Spratt successfully defended her overall lead today after a hot, hilly stage three from Tanunda to Lyndoch.
Spratt was able to finish the day in the front select group of around 30riders which formed on the final Queen of the Mountain, sucessfully maintaining her 19second lead over her closest rival going into the final day of the tour. Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini) stole the stage victory from the reduced group.
“Mission achieved today, we wanted to keep the jersey and that´s exactly what we did,” Spratt said. “The team were awesome I was really proud to be part of this team today with the way we all worked together. Everybody backed me 100% and I honestly didn’t have to do anything.”
ORICA-SCOTT began the stage with a clear goal of defending the leaders jersey and with full team commitment they where able to control the bunch all day, letting the odd rider hovering in the lead whist keeping Spratt out of any trouble.
“When Erin Kinnealy (Holden Cycling) got away early on we were pretty happy with that situation as we could control the race a little bit then,” continued Spratt. “The pace coming into the intermediate sprint naturally brought her back so it made things easier for us.”
“All the girls were constantly looking after me, getting me bottles, moving me up in the bunch and I felt like everything was always under control and they really made my life a lot easier out there.
“There´s still another day, still another hour to race tomorrow but today was probably the big one to get through so I am really please to hold on to this lead. It was a really positive good day.”
How it happened:
Stage three, the final real chance for teams to shake up the classification saw the peloton head up into the Barossa Valley for a 92kilometre road stage.
The stage started in Tanunda and followed a lumpy route before the riders headed past the finish line for the first time after 41kilometres and went on to complete two laps, each taking in the challenging Whispering Wall at the 53kilometres and 79kilometre mark.
With this tough finish in mind, riders looking for an opportunistic stage began attacking in the opening kilometres in an attempt to break free. Erin Kinnealy (Holden Cycling) was the first rider to animate the stage, riding away solo after just 14kilometres of racing.
As the peloton headed towards the first QOM the solo leader was finally reeled in and the steep slopes and high pace caused big splits within the peloton.
ORICA-SCOTT motivated to hold on to their lead raced continued to place themselves towards the front of the bunch, attentively looking for dangerous moves with Katrin Garfoot taking second place over the top of the ´wall.´
After the decent the bunch regrouped and the action immediately continued as two new riders, Lucy Bechtel (Specialised) and Ann-Sophie Duyck (Drops Pro Cycling) caught everyone off guard attacking and opened up a 30second lead for the following 15kilometres, finally being reeled back in in time for the final intermediate sprint.
The decisive moment of the stage was the final time up the Whisper Wall where the peloton reduced down to approximately 30riders with ORICA-SCOTT leading the group all way until the finish to avoid any late breaks. The race concluded with a sprint as Hosking came out on top with Spratt happy and safe in the front bunch.
The team head into tomorrow´s final criterium stage motivated to try and achieve their third consecutive overall victory in the Santos Women´s Tour.
Santos Women´s Tour stage three results:
1. Chloe Hosking (Ale Cipollini) 2:21:56
2. Kirsten Wild (Cylance Pro Cycling) ST
3. Alexis Ryan (Canyon-Sram) ST
23. Amanda Spratt (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
General Classification after stage three:
1. Amanda Spratt (ORICA-SCOTT) 5:56:54
2. Janneke Ensing (Ale Cipollini) +0:19
3. Kirsten Wild (Cylance Pro Cycling) +0:50