Spratt lights up the Boels Ladies Tour on the way to fourth on stage threeFri 6 Sep 2019
Australian Amanda Spratt went on the attack on her way to fourth place on stage three of the Boels Ladies Tour as Mitchelton-SCOTT lit up the finale.
The triple Tour Down Under champion initiated a four-rider move in the latter stages of the race after strong work from her teammate Annemiek van Vleuten, but couldn’t match her rivals in the sprint for victory.
It was a steady start today with the bunch remaining together over the first lap as the bunch contested the first of the intermediate sprints. The second lap also saw nobody escape with bonus seconds up for grabs shortly after the second passage of the finish line.
Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) took the maximum seconds available to extend her lead in the general classification, with Van Vleuten choosing not to compete for the seconds on offer. Instead, Mitchelton-SCOTT moved to the front of the bunch and increased the tempo with the wind beginning to blow as the race passed through halfway.
The stage then burst into life with 53-kilometres to go when splits appeared on the narrow roads on the back half of the circuit. Kiwi Georigia Williams and Spratt made it into the initial move, with Van Vleuten racing across the gap to make it three Mitchelton-SCOTT riders in at the head of the race.
On The Attack
The pace eased up as the pack passed through the streets of Nijverdal before the attacks started again as the group hit the narrow roads, with a solo rider managing to get clear. The gap quickly grew to 25-seconds as the lone leader was joined by one chaser, but the pair were in sight as they raced around the lanes.
It was game over for the duo with 13-kilometres to go and as the pair where absorbed by the chasers, Van Vleuten upped the pace. The former race leader put in two attacks, but as she was reeled in for the second time, Spratt countered.
Three riders followed the Australian and the quartet opened up a sizeable gap on the chasing pack. Not wanting to leave it to a sprint, Spratt attacked inside three-kilometres to go but was quickly shutdown and was forced to settle for fourth place in the four-way sprint for victory.
“With three laps to go we actually tried to split it in the crosswinds with Moniek (Tenniglo) and Gracie (Elvin) in particular doing some monster turns as well as Vleuty. Then with two laps to go it was raced hard again in the crosswinds. Georgia was really strong and made it into the front group, so she actually sat up and waited for me and brought me back. I wouldn’t have made it there without Georgia."
“It was always the plan to try to attack and make it hard from the final climb until the finish with so many fast girls still in the bunch. After Vleuty’s attacks I saw a good moment and attacked hard and that’s what created the winning break with Deignan, Pieters and Klein.”
“We were happy with the group so I worked as hard as I could until the final three-kilometres. Honestly, I didn’t have great legs and I was suffering a lot all day so today was a good reminder of what I can still do even when I don’t feel the best. The other girls in the break were really strong and I could feel that. They are also all very good sprinters. Because of this I tried to save a little energy and then tried an attack inside three-kilometres to go. I didn’t have much left at all after that. I think fourth was the best result I could get today, so I’m happy and I’m also happy how we rode as a team and that we were able to create the break.”
Martin Vestby (Sports Director):
“We tried to what we could today, there was a bit of crosswind and we tried to split halfway through the race, it didn’t work then, but then second time it really started to split up. We were there in the mix in the final and Spratty got away so it was a good day.”
“We expected Annemiek and Spratt to be there in the final, so that was the plan. Georgia did an awesome job leading into the climbs for the last time controlling the break of two, so we were in pretty control all day.”
Boels Ladies Tour 2019 Stage 3 Results:
1. Lisa Klein (Canyon SRAM Racing) 4:00:53
2. Amy Pieters (Boels - Dolmans Cycling Team) ST
3. Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) ST
4. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Boels Ladies Tour 2019 General Classification:
1. Lisa Klein (Canyon SRAM Racing) 9:50:04
2. Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) +0:02
3. Amy Pieters (Boels - Dolmans Cycling Team) +0:06
5. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:12
Photos Courtesy of Getty Images.