Spratt survives a hard day at the Boels Rental Ladies Tour, making the front group to finish 11th

Thu 1 Sep 2016

Australian champion Amanda Spratt fought hard today to finish in 11th place on a surprisingly challenging stage three at the Boels Rental Ladies Tour.

The action kicked off in the final part of the race due to tough parcours and aggressive racing, with Spratt and Gracie Elvin making into a select lead group of 15riders.

Despite late attacks it came down to the final kilometre uphill to the finish as the leading group battled it out with Kasia Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv) getting the better of her breakaway companions to claim the stage victory. Spratt worked hard to finish in the front group and move up to 12th place overall in the general classification. 

“It was really, really hard today,” explained Bates. “We were not expecting it to be so hard going off the profile. We thought there would be a few rolling hills but nothing like it actually was.”

“There were tiny narrow roads which changed direction a lot, road furniture and cross winds. It pretty much had everything. 

“After around 60kilometres the race really exploded into many groups from lots of little attacks going over the tops of climbs and into open paddocks with cross winds which had a big impact on the race.”

ORICA-AIS were well represented in the final part of the race with three riders, Jess Allen, Elvin and Spratt successfully making it into the front reduced group of 30 riders.

“Initially we had three riders in the front group,” continued Bates. “That group then split into two, with 15 riders in the front and we had Spratt with Elvin there."

“Sarah Roy unfortunately had a mechanical problem, in probably the worst moment and really paid dearly for it.

“It was aggressive racing coming into the finish. Five riders broke away, including Spratt, and I thought that would stay away to the line but with Boels-Dolmans chasing, it came back.

"The remaining 14 riders then came into the base of the final climb all together. The climb was almost one kilometre long and steep.

“The girls all rode well today, riding in good position throughout the stage. We will welcome getting back onto the flatter roads tomorrow with the fast girls we have. I think they will be looking forward to a bunch sprint.”

How it happened:

Like the first road stage, the day began with numerous attacks as two riders, Roxane Knetemann (Rabo-Liv) and Esra Tromp (Park Hotel), jumped away from the peloton and led the first part of the race. 

The duo worked well together riding out to a maximum advantage of two minutes before the peloton, led by the current race leaders, Boels-Dolmans, decided to begin the chase and gradually brought back the two escapees with 25kilometres remaining.

With one finishing lap of 17kilometres to complete the action began in the bunch as 14 riders were able to break free over the lumpier terrain including Spratt for ORICA-AIS. 

Initially Elvin missed the move but showed her grit and determination to power back up to the leaders as they began the final lap.

With two riders represented for ORICA-AIS, the group’s advantage opened up to over one minute and as the finishing line drew closer and closer, five riders broke free in what looked to be a promising move.

Spratt was once again present at the front, however Boels Dolmans were again not happy to let the move go and quickly reeled it back in ahead of the final drag to the line.

The hard one kilometre climb up to the finish saw Niewiadoma lead the way and claim the stage victory.

After Spratt’s strong efforts in the break, she manage to hold on for 11th place which moves her up in the general classification with three stages remaining. Elvin also produced a strong ride finishing in a respectable 15th place in what was a tough day at the Boels Rental Ladies Tour.

Boels Rental Ladies Tour stage 3 results:

1. Kasia Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv) 3:20:21
2. Amy Pieters (Wiggle-High5) ST
3. Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) ST
11. Amanda Spratt (ORICA-AIS) +0:16 

General classification after stage 3:

1. Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) 6:27:48
2. Ellen Van Dijk (Boels-Dolmans) +0:11
3. Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels-Dolmans) +0:33
12. Amanda Spratt (ORICA-AIS) +2:24