Reigning champion Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) has put in a dominating display on Mengler Hill to convincingly claim the stage win and move into the overall lead after stage two of the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under.
After another perfectly executed team performance, Spratt finished 39 seconds ahead of teammate Lucy Kennedy with Krista Doebel-Hickoc (Rally UHC Cycling) another six seconds adrift in third.
After the hesitance of the peloton on yesterday’s stage, Rebecca Wiasak (UniSA Australia) and Deborah Paine (New Zealand) formed the first breakaway of the Tour. As they baked under the hot sun in temperatures nearing 40 degrees, the duo rode out to a two and half minute advantage before Mitchelton-SCOTT responded with numbers on the front.
With a plan to set their climbers up for the final climb to the line, Mitchelton-SCOTT forced a fierce pace in the final 25 kilometres as they ended the hopes of the two leaders with seven kilometres to go and launched into the bottom corner.
Turning onto Menglers Hill, Kennedy was the first to launch and as she immediately gained a gap it forced rivals to set off in pursuit. Sitting patiently on their wheels, Spratt picked her moment, to bridge across alone before passing her teammate and riding on to a convincing victory.
The performance puts the team in a commanding position for the overall title, with Spratt leading teammate Kennedy by 43 seconds and Doebel-Kickok by 51 seconds with two days left to race.
Amanda Spratt – “What can I say, my teammates were so so amazing and whenever they ride so hard for you like that, you want to finish it off. We had a plan and when you can ride it to perfection as a team, it just feels amazing.
“We had Grace (Brown) do a fantastic job in the three or four kilometres before the climb and then Lucy hit it. I had instructions to attack and bring no one with me so that’s what I did.
“Obviously today was a great day for us and puts us in the good position but we know tomorrow is still a tough day so we have to rest a little bit, celebrate a tiny bit and get ready for tomorrow.”
Lucy Kennedy – “We had a really laid out plan, it was very specific and it just went perfectly really.
“The early break that got away, we let them go because it was only two of them, and really just that last lap, the last 30km, we really took control of the race.
“Grace (Brown) did a monster turn coming into the base of the hill and then it was my turn to just unleash. I knew Spratty was going to be better than me on the day so I was just waiting for her, but I am happy to hold on for second as well.”
Santos Women’s Tour Down Under – Stage 2:
1. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 3:13:20
2. Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:39
3. Krista Doebel-Kickok (Rally UHC Cycling) +0:45
Santos Women’s Tour Down Under – General Classification after Stage 2:
1. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 6:23:38
2. Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:43
3. Krista Doebel-Kickok (Rally UHC Cycling) +0:51