In the big Australian summer season targets Amanda Spratt hasn’t once missed the podium, but again at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, it wasn’t quite the step the new Trek-Segafredo rider was looking for as her scorching escape on the climb again didn’t quite play out the way she wanted on the downhill run to the line.
Amanda Spratt was in all too familiar territory on Saturday, as on the final stage of the Tour Down Under it was another FDJ Suez rider that was with her as she raced toward the final line, then it was Grace Brown she came second to, on the stage and overall, this time it was instead her teammate Loes Adegeest.
“It’s a bit bittersweet,” said Spratt. “I was definitely chasing that win there and the team rode amazingly all day so I’m disappointed, definitely, that I didn’t nail that sprint but Loes had a strong ride as did FDJ.”
Consistency however has its rewards, and the second place at the Deakin University Elite Women’s race at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road, along with her second overall at the women’s Tour Down Under meant Spratt was now in the purple jersey of the WorldTour leader. It also wasn’t the only consolation, as at the start of the season in 2022 the Australian rider was in recovery mode after surgery for
Iliac artery endofibrosis and making it over the finish line was perhaps the biggest target.
“This time last year I was getting dropped when we went uphill so it’s nice to be up there and it’s a huge honour to be up there and animating the race and it’s a huge honour to be in this jersey,” said Spratt, who made the shift to Trek Segafredo at the start of this season.
Spratt had pushed the pace over the climb of Challambra Crescent, which was the central feature of the twice-lapped finishing circuit, and the second time with about 9km of the race left she pushed on with the Dutch Esports World Champion to keep the rest of the chase at bay, leading to a two-way showdown on the run into the line alongside the Geelong waterfront.
“I knew I needed to be second wheel and I knew there was a group coming from behind, a large group too. We knew we didn’t want them to catch us and I got stuck on the front but I tried to play it slow down there and then get a kick but she just played it really well and got me in the end,” said Spratt of Adegeest.
The thirty-five-year-old who won the race in 2016 and has now been on the podium three editions in a row, said she was quite pleased when she saw it…
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