Amanda Spratt continued her fantastic start to the year with a stage victory on stage two of the Women's Tour Down Under, which saw her surge into the race lead, following up her third national road race championship win last week.
The Mitchelton-Scott rider beat Trek-Segafredo's Ruth Winder and Sunweb's Liane Lippert to the line, with Aussie team-mate Grace Brown and Jaime Gunning (Specialized) rounding out the top five.
Despite early efforts by Mitchelton-Scott to drive the pace, momentarily causing echelons in the peloton, the race didn't kick off until after 80km had been raced.
Gracie Elvin was part of a group that accelerated before the first long uphill of the day before Mitchelton-Scott team-mate Lucy Kennedy took over and exploded the peloton on the ascent. Spratt, Winder and Lippert made the front group, with Spratt and her team-mates continually testing the legs of their rivals.
As the finish line approached, Spratt had the strongest legs left at the end of the stage to outsprint the competition and claim the leader's jersey as she looks to seal the overall victory for the fourth year running.
Speaking after her stage win, Spratt said: "We had a solid team plan today, we knew it could be really hard in the final if we made it that way, and that’s exactly what we did.
"The girls did it perfectly into the climb, Lucy [Kennedy] did her job in the climb and split it into a group of five – we had three and five – and then we knew we just had to make it hard after that. I’m really excited that I could win that sprint in the end. After a great team effort, it’s the best way to win."
Spratt now leads American road race champion Winder in the GC by just four seconds.
Women's Tour Down Under 2020: Stage two, Murray Bridge to Birdwood (114.9km)
1. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott, in 3-04-27
2. Ruth Winder (USA) Trek-Segafredo
3. Liane Lippert (Ger) Sunweb, both at same time
4. Grace Brown (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott, at two seconds
5. Jaime Gunning (Aus) Specialized Women's Racing, at 13s
6. Peta Mullens (Aus) Roxsolt Attaquer, at 15s
7. Rachel Neylan (Aus) UniSA-Australia, at 18s
8. Ella Harris (Nzl) Canyon SRAM Racing
9. Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
10. Juliette Labous (Fra) Sunweb, all at same time
General classification after stage two
1. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott, in 6-21-19
2. Ruth Winder (USA) Trek-Segafredo, at four seconds
3. Liane Lippert (Ger) Sunweb, at 5s
4. Grace Brown (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott, at 12s
5. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Rally Cycling Women, at 21s
6. Jaime Gunning (Aus) Specialized Women's Racing, at 23s
7. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Sunweb, at 24s
8. Peta Mullens (Aus) Roxsolt Attaquer, at 25s
9. Juliette Labous (Fra) Sunweb, at 27s
10. Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope, at 28s
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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