Spratt stays out of trouble on stage two to retain her lead in the Santos Women´s TourSun 15 Jan 2017
Stage two of the Santos Women´s Tour concluded with a rapid bunch sprint after furious pace set the tone in the 32kilometre city centre criterium.
ORICA-SCOTT raced cleverly and conservatively to keep stage one winner Amanda Spratt out of trouble and remain in the overall race lead as Kirsten Wild (Cylance Pro Cycling) took the stage honours.
"We achieved what we set out to do which was to get through today´s stage safetly and unscathed," explained Spratt at the finish. "Historically this has always been very much a sprinters race so we expected that again today."
"We don´t have a sprinter wih us, but we have the overall lead so that was the main focus and priority for us today."
With three intermediate sprints and bonus seconds up for grabs the pace was constantly high making it extremely difficult for any riders to break free and ultimately finished with an expected bunch sprint as the key sprinters teams worked to keep control of things.
“We actually planned to try and steal some seconds in the first intermediate sprint,” sport director Gene Bates explained. “We didn’t expect it to be so highly contested by the sprint teams.”
“After that we just really wanted to just stay out of trouble today, maintain our lead and save as much as we could as tomorrow is really important day for us.
“Spratt still has a sizeable lead so hopefully tomorrow we can retain the lead for another day.”
How it happened:
After a 106kilometre tough stage yesterday to kick off proceedings, the women headed into the centre of Adelaide for stage two of the four-day tour.
At just 32kilometres in length it was a fast and furious race in front of huge crowds as the peloton completed 14laps of the 2.3kilometre circuit.
With a 19second lead over second place on the overall, Spratt and ORICA-SCOTT worked to stay out of trouble and maintain their advantage by staying attentive, following moves and keeping good position.
A few riders attempted to breakaway but where unable to do so newly crowned Australian criterium champion Jess Allen, able to wear her green and gold national champions jersey for the first time was very attentive at the head of the peloton.
Tomorrow is likely to be a decisive day in the tour, 92kilometres of hilly terrain out in the Adelaide hills.
Santos Women´s Tour stage two results:
1. Kirsten Wild (Cylance Pro Cycling) 43:57
2. Rachel Barber (Cylance Pro Cycling) ST
3. Chloe Hosking (Ale Cipollini) ST
22. Katrin Garfoot (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
General Classification after stage two:
1. Amanda Spratt (ORICA-SCOTT) 3:34:58
2. Janneke Ensing (Ale Cipollini) +0:19
3. Kirsten Wild (Cylance Pro Cycling) +0:50