Spratt shakes up the field with a lively performance at Vargarda

Sun 13 Aug 2017

2017 Santos Women’s Tour champion Amanda Spratt animated the women’s WorldTour event Crescent Vargarda in Sweden today, igniting the early breakaway and remaining constantly on the attack for ORICA-SCOTT women before Sarah Roy contested the final sprint.

A long, hilly and challenging race saw the scene set early with Spratt part of an eleven rider move that broke away early on, Spratt animated the move and instigated the late splits that were swallowed up by a fast moving selection that included Roy and teammate Gracie Elvin.

The ORICA-SCOTT trio worked well through the closing kilometres as the group of favourites, maybe 30-40riders strong repeatedly attacked one another.

Despite the numerous attacks and chases the group was mainly still together through the final circuit and split as the sprint unfolded over the last 500metres.

Lotta Lepisto (Cervelo-Bigla) kicked early and disrupted the bunch, holding on for the win by one second with Roy the first finisher for ORICA-SCOTT in what was a solid all round team performance.

“Spratty was on a ripping ride today,” said sport director Gene Bates. “A truly outstanding performance. She wasn’t under any pressure and was coming in from a solid block of training, but she really went for it.”

“Once she made it into the break it took a lot of pressure off the team and the rest of the girls rode intelligently and really well as a unit t maintain position near the front of the bunch in anticipation of the splits.

“I think if Spratty’s move had stayed away we would’ve had a strong chance, because she was in such good form today, but the teams who were not represented up there brought it back.

“We did well going head to head with the favourites group in the final, maybe we were a little too focused on attacks and that led to hesitation and a missed opportunity in the sprint, but overall it was a strong and positive team performance.”

How it happened:

An overcast morning welcomed the riders to an early start for one of the longest women’s one-day races of the year. A fast and explosive start saw an eleven-rider breakaway form that included Spratt for ORICA-SCOTT.

Half of the teams were represented in the move and those that weren’t desperately tried to organise a chase, creating three groups on the road separated by two minutes.

The Swedish national team took up the brunt of the chase over the tough circuits as the gap hovered around one minute 50seconds for the majority of the race.

The peloton started to up the ante on the final gravel section as the big teams started to lunch some tentative attacks, reducing the gap to the leaders as the first of the four finishing circuits approached, the circuits included a sharp climb coming before the passage of the finish line.

First it was the breakaway group that split as Spratt unleashed a series of accelerations on the climb with three laps to go before the peloton itself split under the attentions of Boels-Dolmans and promptly caught the Spratt group.

On the penultimate lap a select group of around 40riders pushed on, the group included the big name sprinters and the stronger climbers in the field.

The attacks came thick and fast and over the final 20kilometres with Elvin, Roy and Spratt active and alive to all of the moves, amazingly the group was still together going into the final kilometre.

An early sprint unfolded through the final corners with Lepisto taking the win and Roy the best placed for ORICA-SCOTT just outside the top ten.

Crescent Vargarda results:

1. Lotta Lepisto (Cervelo-Bigla) 03:29:54

2. Marianne Vos (WM3-Cycling) 00:00:01

3. Leah Kirchmann (Team-Sunweb) ST

17. Sarah Roy (ORICA-SCOTT) 00:00:02

Photos courtesy of ©