Emakumeen Bira winner Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) took an incredible solo victory today on the first summit finish at the Giro Rosa to move into the overall race lead. Spratt launched an attack with five kilometres to go and held on to take her first ever victory in the Italian ‘Grand Tour’.
Teammate Annemiek van Vleuten crossed the line 29 seconds behind in second place to move up into third place overall after six-days of racing.
With the finish of the race on a 13-kilometre climb, averaging six percent up to the summit finish in Gerola Alta, many riders wanted to be in the day’s early breakaway which made for a fast and aggressive start. Despite many attempts, no correct combinations formed and the peloton remained attentive not giving any riders freedom and the peloton reached the bottom of the climb together.
After a fast pace with lead-out trains into the bottom of the climb, attacks started as soon as the road went up and immediately the peloton shattered into various groups. Due to the high pace, the bunch whittled down to leave just 16 riders at the front with seven kilometres still to go.
Van Vleuten attacked and kept driving for one kilometre which caused more riders to drop off the back leaving just Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo-Bigla), Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM), Mavi Garcia (Movistar) and Spratt at the front.
With knowledge of the climb, Spratt waited patiently for the road to take a steep kick up with around five kilometres to go, and successfully jumped away from the front elite group. As the road flattened slightly, Spratt put it in a big gear and drove further away from the chasers and to a solo win.
Van Vleuten also displayed her great form to cross the line in second place and give the team a one-two on the sixth stage. Spratt now leads the race by 30 seconds and also leads the mountain jersey classification
Amanda Spratt – “We couldn’t have asked for anything better from all the team today, they all rode so well to set up myself and Annemiek before the climb.
“It is a little bit surreal to be in the pink jersey, we wanted to see today if we had an opportunity to take time. It worked out well, there were quite a few attacks and it was hard and Annemiek really set me up for the attack when I went and it worked out perfectly.
“We actually came and rode this climb a couple of weeks ago and I think that really paid off. We knew when was good to attack, we knew it would get steeper and we just had to stay patient until then. I went into the big ring because I knew it flatten off after and I am so happy to take the jersey.”