The Santos Tour Down Under is about to begin in Australia, and many riders have Melissa Hoskins on their minds. The Former Olympian and world champion was killed Dec. 31 cause by her husband, Rohan Dennis, who was driving their car.
Teammates at Orica-AIS
Amanda Spratt, 36, who rides for Lidl-Trek, was once a teammate of Hoskins. The two of them rode for the Australian team, Orica-AIS, (now known as Team Jayco AlUla.)
When asked about Hoskins, she mentioned that having been teammates for several years, and then was understandably overwhelmed with emotion.
“It’s a really hard situation for everyone,” Annette Edmonson, of the race organization said.
Looking ahead to race
Spratt has won the race three times, and is eager for this year’s edition.
“I was happy when I saw Willunga, and then Stirling as well. So, I think that’s a great stage. I think they’ve done a really great job with the course this year,” she said. It’s probably a bunch sprint on the first stage, and then Stirling is a bit unpredictable, can go either way. And then obviously we have Willunga.”
Given only two non-flat stages to influence the outcome, Spratt believes that the race will be determined by factors beyond simply the winner of the Queen stage.
Time bonuses will play a big part
“I think time bonuses are going to be really crucial,” she said. “So I think we’re really not going to know who’s going to win until we cross the finish line in Willunga. I think there’s gonna be a lot of plot twists, things are going to change. I think it’s going to be a really exciting race.”
There will be a minute’s silence to honour the late Hoskins before the first stage on Friday in Hahndorf. She was 32, and a mother of two.
Former world time trial champion Dennis was released on bail and will be in court in March.