|Yesterday’s stage winner Amanda Spratt has successfully defended her overall Santos Women’s Tour title, to become the first female rider to win two editions of the event, despite being involved in a large crash in the early stages of the final stage.
The 30-year-old Mitchelton-SCOTT rider moved into the overall race lead after a phenomenal victory on stage three yesterday, which gave her a 29-second advantage going into today’s final stage – the People’s Choice Classic.
With a strong and committed team around her, dedicated to securing a second victory in the event, Spratt was able to overcome a fall and add today’s win to her growing list of palmares
Team sprinter Sarah Roy helped protect Spratt throughout the criterium until the final kilometres where she took her opportunity in the sprint and finished in seventh place behind eventual stage winner Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cippollini).
Crash scare for Spratt
Heading into the second intermediate sprint, a huge crash occurred towards the front of the peloton with many general classification riders involved. Spratt was one of the riders caught out, along with some of her Mitchelton-SCOTT teammates, but thankfully all unhurt they were able to take a lap out and rejoin the race the next time around.
A two-time winner
After the crash the peloton became nervous and Mitchelton-SCOTT made a big effort to surround the Ochre jersey and keep her protected for the remainder of the race. Starting the race as a favourite following her 2017 victory, today´s result makes Spratt the first women to win two edition of the Women´s Tour Down Under
A complete team effort
Whilst strong rivals littered the whole peloton it was the power of team unity that delivered Spratt the victory. The cohesiveness of the six-rider them was on display on each of the four stages but highlighted by the triumphant effort to claim the lead yesterday and capped off with the commradery shown by the likes of Annemiek van Vleuten and Jessica Allen to wait and calm Spratt following her crash. With Lucy Kennedy and van Vleuten finishing in fourth and sixth overall respectively, the Mitchelton-SCOTT team capped off a great performance by claiming the team´s classification.
Amanda Spratt – Overall winner of the 2018 Santos Women’s Tour
“I’m so happy, it’s thanks to these girls they all did an amazing job and it has been a great few days for the team and to win this race for the second time is really special.”
“I can’t thank the girls enough for their help after the crash, I was really shaken up and panicking a bit, but Annemiek and Jess stopped with me and they said just try to calm down, follow my wheel and that was so important I can’t thank them enough.
“It is a really big race for us in Australia and we have so much support in this race, there was people out all around the course cheering.”
Gene Bates – Sport Director
“It’s certainly a fantastic result for the team to win the overall again with Spratty. We came out of the nationals a little disappointed so we came here really motivated to ride well as a team and I think we really achieved it.
It’s one of the strengths of our team, to really commit to each other and put the team first over our individual goals. We saw Spratty take the win but I think it could have been Annemiek or Lucy too.”
Stage 4 – People Choice Classic results:
1. Chloe Hosking (Ale Cipollini) 1:07:29
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance Pro Cycling) ST
3. Annette Edmondson (Wiggle High5) ST
8. Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Final general classification results:
1. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 10:47:21
2. Lauren Stevens (Cyclone Pro Cycling) +0:41
3. Katrin Garfoot (UniSA) +1:21