Williams wins solo, Garfoot second to keep overall lead

Mon 18 Jan 2016

ORICA-AIS has had a dream day on the road at the Santos Women’s Tour with Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic stage winner Lizzie Williams taking a solo victory as teammate Katrin Garfoot sprinted to second place behind her to retain the overall lead.

After an active race from the entire ORICA-AIS outfit, including a marathon solo effort by Australian champion Amanda Spratt in the blistering heat, Williams attacked a select group of seven riders with four kilometres to go and held on comfortably for the victory.

“We knew that we had strong girls out there and that we could get numbers,” Williams said.  

“Spratty was just a workhorse out the front, dangling like a rabbit. She allowed us to sit on the whole time and ultimately I had the energy to go with about four kilometres to go. That’s teamwork.”

Behind, Williams’ companions sprinted for minor honours. Garfoot narrowly edged out Lauren Kitchen (Hytec Products) to second place and retains the blue jersey into the final day of racing.

“I had to make sure I outsprinted Lauren to keep the jersey,” Garfoot said.  “I don’t know how I did it because I’m not a sprinter, but it was good for us. We’re really happy.”

The 34-year-old Australian time trial champion said the team was in the perfect position with numbers in the final lap.

“Spratty was out there by herself, and we had four GC riders in our group, so Lizzie and myself could just sit on,” she explained. “Most of the work was done by Tiffany Cromwell and Lauren Kitchen, trying to get Spratty back.”

“By the time we caught Spratty we were nearly on the climb. I got told to go for it on the climb but that didn’t really work, so we waited until it came back together.”

“It was cat and mouse from there, everyone of course covered me and not the others so Lizzie got away to take out the win.”

The Santos Women’s Tour wraps up tomorrow with a final stage criterium in Victoria Park.

How it happened:

The peloton rolled out of Lyndoch for a four-lap 100.8km stage in extremely hot conditions for the penultimate day of racing at the Santos Women’s Tour.

The peloton remained together for the first 25.2km circuit before Erin Kinnealy (Nicheliving Vault) escaped off the front and rode out to a solo 40second lead.

Playing the team role, Tayler Wiles put herself of the front for ORICA-AIS and brought the race back together. Shortly after, Wiles and Australian champion Amanda Spratt found themselves off the front in a strong breakaway of seven riders.

The group rode out to almost one-minute advantage before they too were sucked back into the peloton but in an immediate regrouping, many of the same riders jumped off the front again.

Spratt found herself at the head of the race solo and as she crossed the start/finish line to begin the final lap, she had almost 30seconds advantage to a chase group of six, including teammates Lizzie Williams and race leader Katrin Garfoot who were able to sit in and let other teams do the chasing.

Caught just before the climb, the race was now a battle of seven riders and with four kilometres to go Williams benefited from the heavy marking of teammate and race leader Garfoot to escape for a convincing solo win.