Santos Women’s Tour: Sprattie springs surprise

Amanda Spratt (Orica-Scott) made her race-winning move on Stage 1 when she won by a margin of 19 seconds to take the blue leader’s jersey and continue the domination of Australian riders and/or teams in this race. It was pretty much job done, game over. Queen of the Mountains, 21-year-old Janneke Ensing (Canyon Sram) was runner-up, with winner of the two sprint stages Kirsten Wild (Cylance) rounding out the podium.

Rider(s) of the Race

And the winners are the Orica-Scott team, who worked their butts off to ensure that Sprattie laid down the foundation for her overall victory on Stage 1. The team controlled the peloton throughout the stage and chased down all the breakaway groups in the first part of the stage. Clearly their plan was to control the race from the off, confirmed post-race by Spratt:

That was the plan, that we didn’t have to do a lot of work when it wasn’t necessary so we did a good job at that. We did feel the pressure a bit; we have had a dream start to the season, our best ever. So we knew the eyes would be on us – if there was a break that needed to come back, it would be us that would do it.

They continued to control the final three stages to deliver victory for the team. Fittingly, they also picked up the team title.

Fresh face!

What about fifth-placed, 22-year-old American Alexis Ryan, who picked up the Best Young Rider jersey? A jersey she seized on the final day, thanks to some well thought-out team tactics. Alexis has an impressive palmares with great results at junior and under-23 level in cyclocross, mountain biking and road racing. Remind you of anyone? Clearly one to watch.

 Things that made us go oooooooh

 

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Chloe Hosking and Janneke Ensing at the start of Stage 4 (Image: GETTY)

All credit to the organisers for running a women’s event concurrently with the men’s race. The women’s race has only been run since 2012, but each year the field improves, much to the delight of race director, Kimberley Conte.

We are so fortunate this year to have so many talented riders, and have so much interest in the race. We have 17 teams, a fantastic field, and we feel quite honoured to have them here with us.

But when asked about the prospect of the tour earning WorldTour status, Conte said:

We want to make sure we run the race to the best of our ability, keep raising the bar, and just watch the race take that natural progression. It took the men’s race a few years to become WorldTour, so we just want to make sure we do things right.

While the race doesn’t enjoy the same media coverage as the men’s, it was afforded some limited television coverage – a step in the right direction. Let’s hope next year, fans around the world will be able to see live stages, just like they do the men’s race.

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Final results

1 Amanda Spratt (Orica-Scott) 6:59:36

2 Janneke Ensing (Ale Cipollini) +0:25

3 Kirsten Wild (Cylance) +0:40

4 Lauren Kitchen (Sydney Uni) +0:50

5 Alexis Ryan (Canyon Sram) +0:51

Stage winners:

Stage 1: Amanda Spratt (Orica-Scott) Final KM here

Stage 2: Kirsten Wild (Cyclance) Final KM here

Stage 3: Chloe Hosking (Ale Cippollini) Final KM here

Stage 4: Kirsten Wild (Cylance) Final KM here

Jerseys

Points Jersey: Chloe Hosking (Ale Cippolini)

Queen of the Mountains Jersey: Janneke Ensing (Ale Cippolini)

Young Rider Jersey: Alexis Ryan (Canyon Sram)

Team Classification Leader: Orica-Scott

Links: Official race websiteTwitter, YouTube and Facebook

Header: Santos Women’s Tour Podium courtesy of Santos Tour Down Under Twitter feed 

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