The closing stages of day two of the Woman’s Tour Down Under provided edge-of-seat viewing as Amanda Spratt came ever-so-close close to a thrilling solo victory.
Caught by the strong chase group with just 500m to go, Alex Manly emerged as the ultimate victor after a bunch sprint to the line. Georgia Williams finished second with Nina Buijsman third.
Manly, 26, is now in the Ochre Jersey, eight seconds ahead of Grace Brown from FDJ-SUEZ and Georgia Williams from EF Education-Tibco-SVB.
“We just had the perfect lead out and yeah I’m so thankful,’’ Manly said after the 90km stage. “To do this in my backyard is just so nice.”
Manly will wear the leader’s jersey on the final women’s Let’s Go stage 3 Adelaide to Campbelltown on Tuesday.
She bumped Sunday’s Tour Down Under leader Daria Pikulik out of the prestigious jersey after a tactical team work by Jayco-AlUla.
Amanda Spratt from Trek Segafredo opened a 15-second gap after a bullish attack on the Mt Lofty climb with just over 10km to go.
Back at her best, and in her new Trek-Segafredo colours, Spratt went solo over the top of ‘Lofty’ to claim the QOM points prior to a rocket-fast descent towards the finish.
“It was fun to be able to attack like that again,” she said after the stage.
“The last two years have been pretty difficult for me. Over a year ago I had surgery for iliac artery endofibrosis and last season was just a whole rebuilding season so it feels pretty special that Trek-Segafredo signed me and I have joined one of the best teams in the world.”
“I have had my first normal pre-season since 2019 and I love these races,” continued Spratt. “The Tour Down Under is one of my favorite races so I am so happy and motivated to be back here. It’s really special and we still have another chance to chase that win.
“Tomorrow is the Corkscrew. I’ve ridden it a few times now and it’s a climb that suits me so we just have to really focus on that and hope that we can bring it home.”
Spratt, 35, claimed the queen of the mountain prize and will wear the jersey for Stage 3. She remains a strong favourite to win the race overall.
Our 2023 Tour Down Under Coverage Is Proudly Presented By Hammerhead Cycling Computers – Find Out More About Hammerhead at www.hammerhead.io