Spratt puts it all the line to take fifth overall at the Tour de Yorkshire

Sat 4 May 2019

Triple Tour Down Under champion Amanda Spratt took fifth place on the second and final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire in brutal conditions in Scarborough.

The 31-year-old tried her best to shut down a leading trio in the closing kilometres, but it wasn’t to be as the wind battered the riders along the seafront on the run to the line. The fight for the overall came down to the steep and grippy Yorkshire climbs with Spratt securing fifth on the general classification to go with her fifth place on the stage.

Busy and Unpredictable

It was a frantic start to the decisive stage with several attacks coming and going inside the first hour of racing. Both Sarah Roy and Spratt tried to make it into moves but the peloton quickly shut down the attacks over the rolling roads out of Bridlington.

The race was then neutralised as the peloton approached the first categorised ascent of the day with the bunch taking a detour around the climb behind the commissaries’ car. After several kilometres at a neutralised pace the race got back underway with 90-kilometres remaining and as the car pulled away the attacks followed.

Those attacks came to nothing with the race coming back together on the run to the next climb and the GC hopefuls quickly moved to the fore. World Champion Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) was the first of the favourites to launch an attack and she opened up a sizeable gap as she passed over the climb solo.

The Race Comes Alive

A chase group formed behind with three Mitchelton-SCOTT riders present as they set about trying to reel back the 40-second gap to the lone leader. Roy led the chase and reduced the gap significantly as the race hit the bottom of the climb out of Robin Hood’s Bay, with Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner Annemiek van Vleuten bridging across on the steep slopes.

As the wind began to pick up across the North Yorkshire Moors there was a regroupment at the head of the race that took the lead group up to around 20 riders. But it wasn’t long before another lone attack came with Spratt giving chase from a select group behind.

Heading onto the final categorised climb and two riders jumped across to the solo leader, leaving Spratt to chase on behind with two further riders. The race then turned into a team pursuit as the chasing trio attempted to haul back the leading three on the run into Scarborough. Spratt attacked in an attempt to bridge the gap as the road ramped up once more, but it was in vein as Marianne Vos (CCC - Liv) took the win and the overall from the leading trio.

Amanda Spratt:
“Today was an epic stage. It wasn’t easy for anyone, the weather, wind, roads and climbs made it so hard. At one stage we had hail that felt like it was cutting the whole body.”

“We wanted to give everyone an opportunity today, especially Roy and Moniek Tenniglo early on, so we tried to set it up a bit for them to attack. I also tried to sneak into a few moves, but it never worked out because the speed was high.”

“After the climb at 75-kilometres we had Annemiek, Sarah and myself in the front group. Roy did an amazing job to bring back Deignan and then keep the gap to Van der Breggen manageable so Vleuty could close the gap on the next climb. I suffered here and was behind but as soon as I made it back I attacked and that’s what formed the winning break.”

“Garcia was already away and then Vos and Paladin got away at the top of the final long climb. I tried to go but my legs just had nothing. The legs haven’t felt good since Liege so today was more about a mental battle and just pushing through as much as I could. That’s why I am happy and satisfied with the result, it’s the maximum I could give today and I finished totally empty. I’m now looking forward to a short break after a big spring!”

Tour de Yorkshire Stage 2 Results:
1. Marianne Vos (CCC - Liv) 3:59:16
2. Mavi Garcia (Movistar Team) ST
5. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:22

Tour de Yorkshire General Classification:
1. Marianne Vos (CCC - Liv) 7:34:27
2. Mavi Garcia (Movistar Team) +0:07
5. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:35

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.