Orica-Scott rider Amanda Spratt led the 2017 Santos Women's Tour from the opening stage, never relinquishing the lead
Spratt took a solo victory on Saturday in Meadows, and then successfully defended the lead throughout the following three stages.
Tuesday’s fast final criterium left little room for error, and Spratt was aware going into the stage that one wrong move would spell the end of her term in the race lead.
“It’s a big sense of relief for me now and I am really, really happy to have won,” Spratt said after the stage. “The team were once again incredible today they had everything covered all race.”
“They all said it was a harder race today than last year but I thought it was a lot easier, so it just shows how much work they did and I could just sit in and let them do everything for me again today.”
“It was our goal to keep this jersey and we have done it, it really was a team effort so I am really happy we have also won the teams classification. I get to step up on the podium with the whole team and that is a really special moment for me.”
Spratt concluded the race with a margin of 25 seconds over Janneke Ensing (Ale Cipollini), with final stage winner Kirsten Wild (Cylance Pro Cycling) in third spot overall.
It’s Spratt’s first stage race overall victory. “It’s great to get a tour win, I must say it’s a little bit stressful the general classification business,” commented the 29-year-old.
“It took a while to get used to it and it is been an interesting experience. Normally I am the one helping the GC leader and try and calm them down, so I have a new appreciation being in this position now.”
British rider Alice Barnes (Drops Cycling Team) finished in ninth place overall.
Orica-Scott has won every edition of the Santos Women’s Tour since it appeared on the calendar in 2015.
Women’s Tour Down Under 2017, stage four: Adelaide to Adelaide
1. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Cylance Pro Cycling, in 1-02-42
2. Annette Edmondson (Aus) Wiggle-High5
3. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Ale Cipollini
4. Peta Mullens (Aus) Hagens Bermans
5. Grace Garner (GBr) Wiggle-High5
6. Chloe Dygert (USA) Sho-Air Twenty20
7. Gretchen Stumhofer (USA) Sho-Air Twenty20
8. Anna Trevisi (Ita) Ale Cipollini
9. Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon SRAM
10. Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Orica-Scott, all same time
Final general classification
1. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-Scott, in 6-59-36
2. Janneke Ensing (Ned) Ale Cipollini, at 25 secs
3. Kirsten Wild (Ned) Cylance Pro Cycling, at 40 secs
4. Lauren Kitchen (Aus) WM3 Energie, at 50 secs
5. Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon SRA, at 51 secs
6. Peta Mullens (Aus) Hagens Bermans, at 58 secs
7. Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Orica-Scott, at 59 secs
8. Ruth Winder (USA) UnitedHealthcare, at 59 secs
9. Alice Barnes (GBr) Drops Cycling Teams, at 1-01
10. Susanna Zorzi (Ita) Drops Cycling Team, at 1-01