Late Spratt at­tack clinches stage win

The Weekend Post - - Sport -

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.

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