Spratt third in brutal Cadel Road Race finaleSat 1 Feb 2020
Australian champion Amanda Spratt avoided the late carnage to finish third place on a brutal day at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
A crash took out a large portion of the peloton in the final 30km, including most of Spratt’s Mitchelton-SCOTT teammates, leaving the 32-year-old to negotiate the finale alone.
Five riders took advantage of a lull in action following the first intermediate sprint to jump off the front of the bunch.
Madeline Wright (Roxsolt Attaquer), Maaike Boogaard (Ale BTC), Silvia Valsecchi (Be Pink), Minke Bakker (Doltcini – Van Eyck) and Jade Wiel (FDJ) rode out to a maximum advantage of four minutes with 45km remaining.
As the race began to make its way to the hillier finale, the pace picked up dramatically in the bunch and the breakaway’s day was over ahead of the Challambra Climb.
With crosswinds and rain in the final 30km, the race began to split up.
A big crash effected much of the peloton and left a smaller group of around 25 riders to contest the final.
Outnumbered, Spratt used her energy wisely on the climbs, and eventually found herself in a chase group of three behind Liane Lippert (Team Sunweb), who attacked on the final climb and went on to a solo victory.
Mitchelton-SCOTT teammate Lucy Kennedy was held up by the crash but avoided trouble and was able to finish the race.
Georgia Williams and Jessica Roberts suffered wounds requiring stiches, whilst Grace Brown and Jess Allen were taken to hospital for precautionary scans.
“It was pretty epic. We turned at kilometre 97 into a crosswind section and the pace was going up and up there. We headed towards the two rollers before Challambra and we knew that was where it was going to be really hectic.
“On the really fast downhill there was a crash and basically only 25 people in the peloton missed. I was the only Mitchelton-SCOTT rider who missed the crash, so from that point on it was a bit surreal to start with and then it was just realising that I was the only one from my team here and I had to try to play it smart.
“We went up Challambra climb and it split, then it came back together on the bridge and towards the final climb and that’s when Liane attacked hard from behind. I just missed that, I’m a bit disappointed I missed the jump, but she was really strong.
“I waited for a moment to get out of the bunch and try to get across to her, but I couldn’t quite get there.
“Honestly, I am happy with this third place. I was really outnumbered after the crash, I had to use my energy wisely. In the end, it was Sunweb’s race to lose when they had their whole team there, so I’m proud to be on the podium.”
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race – Women’s Results:
1. Liane Lippert (Team Sunweb) 3:17:46
2. Arlenis Sierra (Astana Women’s Team) +0:15
3. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:15
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.