Amanda Spratt from ORICA-Scott blasted away her competition to take the first stage of the 2017 Santos Women’s Tour by 19 seconds.
The 106.5-kilometer opening stage of the Santos Women’s Tour left Hahndorf at 11am and wound its way through the rolling Adelaide Hills to Meadows.
Spratt and her ORICA-Scott teammates controlled the peloton for the entirety of the race, chasing down all breakaway groups in the first half of the stage.
Specialized tried to mount breakaways on several occasions, but only managed 100-meter leads before being tracked down by the peloton.
Spratt said the ORICA-Scott plan was to control the peloton and stop any breakaways from opposition riders.
“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,” she said.
“We did feel the pressure a little 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.”
Chloe Hosking of Ale Cipollini won the intermediate sprint, just edging out Susanna Zorzi of Drops Cycling and NSWIS Sydney Uni’s Lauren Kitchen.
The peloton was bunched for the first 80 kilometers of the stage before stretching out heading into Strathalbyn and the steep 11 per cent gradient climb in the final four kilometers.
“It was our plan to move at the 18 kilometer mark, so we were attacking like crazy, our pressure was unrelenting,” Spratt said.
Spratt made her breakaway into the climb and won the Subaru Queen of the Mountain in a gruelling sprint up Paris Creek Road ahead of the finish in Meadows.
“It was the most painful last five kilometers I’ve ever done. In the team meeting last night we said the number one goal was to win the stage, and to win with enough time to have a good buffer for the overall,” she said.
Janneke Ensing from Ale Cipollini came second, with Katherine Hall from United Healthcare Pro Cycling Team in third.
Top 10 Finishers
1 Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica – Scott 2:51:01
2 Janneke Ensing (Ned) Ale Cipollini 0:00:19
3 Katie Hall (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team 0:00:59
4 Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM Racing 0:01:01
5 Danielle King (GBr) Cylance Pro Cycling Team
6 Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Orica – Scott
7 Alice Barnes (GBr) Drops Cycling Team
8 Peta Mullens (Aus) Hagens Berman – Supermint Pro Cycling Team
9 Ruth Winder (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
10 Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Subaru NSWIS
General classification after stage 1
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