Late Spratt attack clinches stage win
LIZ WALSH DEFENDING Women’s Tour Down Under champion Amanda Spratt has sent a message to the rest of the competition after a convincing stage two win at Mengler Hill: catch me if you can.
With 1km left in yesterday’s race, Spratt had jumped to a 75m lead on second-placed teammate Lucy Kennedy and third-placed American Krista Doebel-Hickok (Rally UHC Cycling) and with her eventual win also claimed the Tour’s Ochre Leader’s Jersey.
Spratt won the Novatech Stage 2 race from Nuriootpa to Mengler Hill – a distance of 116.7km – in a time of 3:13.20.
She finished 39 seconds ahead of Kennedy after chasing her on the tough climb in the final 2km of the race.
The Mitchelton-Scott rider said she felt like she had a good kick during the race, despite the gruelling final climb in 39C weather.
“I think the heat as well makes it harder out there, my voice is almost gone,” Spratt said on the finish line.
“The girls did such an amazing job the whole way in.
“We had Grace (Brown), who did the work in the last set of three kilometres before the climb, and Lucy (Kennedy) hit it and I just got instruction to attack and bring no one with me, so that’s what I did.”
Spratt said the victory was the result of good team work.
“Obviously, it’s a great day for us and it will put us in a great GC (general classification) position,” she said.
“We’ll have to rest a little bit, celebrate a tiny bit and get ready for tomorrow. “I’m so proud.” Spratt, who now holds the Ochre leader’s jersey with a time of 6:23.38, said Subaru stage three, which goes through the Adelaide Hills across 104.5km, would again be gruelling. “Tomorrow will be a hard day, so we’re going to have to make sure we’re recovering well and be ready,” she said.
Stage three will see the Tour start in Nairne at 10am and make its way through Littlehampton, Balhannah and Oakbank before heading toward Hahndorf.