Spratt wins the 2017 Santos Women's TourTue 17 Jan 2017
Former Australian champion Amanda Spratt has claimed the overall victory in the 2017 Santos Women’s Tour after successfully holding on to the race lead since day-one.
The 29-year-old showed her intentions from the start with a convincing solo victory on the first road stage into Meadows which gave her a 19second advantage over her nearest rival Janneke Ensing (Alé-Cipollini).
Spratt and her ORICA-SCOTT teammates worked hard to maintain this advantage throughout each stage of the tour which concluded today with a one hour criterium in Victoria Park, won by Kirsten Wild (Cylance Pro Cycling) with ORICA-SCOTT winning the team classification.
“It’s a big sense of relief for me now and I am really, really happy to have won,” Spratt explained. “The team were once again incredible today they had everything covered all race.”
“They all said it was a harder race today than last year but I thought it was a lot easier, so it just shows how much work they did and I could just sit in and let them do everything for me again today.”
“It was our goal to keep this jersey and we have done it, it really was a team effort so I am really happy we have also won the teams classification. I get to step up on the podium with the whole team and that is a really special moment for me.”
Despite Spratt’s impressive tally of road race victories, an overall general classification achievement is fairly new to her having only ever won one other stage race back in 2011, making it an extra special victory today.
“It's great to get a tour win, I must say it’s a little bit stressful this general classification business,” Spratt continued. “It took a while to get used to it and it has been an interesting experience.
“Normally I am the one helping the GC leader and try and calm them down, so I have a new appreciation being in this position now.”
ORICA-SCOTT have now achieved three consecutive overall victories in the Santos Women's Tour since it’s inception in 2015 leaving sport director Gene Bates thrilled to produce the goods once again in the team's home race.
“It’s fantastic for the team to win this race once again, every year we look forward to this race and every year it gets better,” Bates said. “Being an Australian team we want to put your best foot forward, it is good for sponsors and the riders are always super motivated to perform well in their home country."
How it happened:
ORICA-SCOTT confidently headed into today’s final stage knowing what they were required to do to keep hold of the overall lead.
In the past the criterium stage around Victoria Park has often finished in a group sprint and did so once again today.
The riders raced around the 1.2kilometre circuit for one hour in hot temperatures and with bonus seconds up for grabs in the intermediate sprints the pace was high as all the main sprint teams worked to place their riders in position.
A few opportunistic riders tried to break free, however everything was instantly shut down with ORICA-SCOTT always in good position with Spratt sheltering behind Annemiek van Vleuten as the race drew into the final half.
With five laps to go, as planned, the team headed to the front and swapped off increasing the pace and lining the bunch out. With around two laps to go other sprint teams began to take over as Katrin Garfoot jumped from the ORICA-SCOTT train and into the wheels of the sprinters and was able to finish inside the top ten.
Wild sprinted to a second stage victory as Spratt crossed the line having secured the overall victory rounding off a fantastic performance from the entire team over the four-days.
The team will be back in action at the Towards Zero Race Melbourne followed by the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
Santos Women´s Tour stage four results:
1. Kirsten Wild (Cylance Pro Cycling) 1:02:42
2. Annette Edmondson (Wiggle-High5) ST
3. Chloe Hosking (Alé-Cipollini) ST
10. Katrin Garfoot (ORICA-SCOTT) ST
Overall General Classification:
1. Amanda Spratt (ORICA-SCOTT) 6:59:36
2. Janneke Ensing (Ale Cipollini) +0:25
3. Kirsten Wild (Cylance Pro Cycling) +0:40