With a decisive stage win in stage 2, defending Tour Down Under champion Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) is on track to win the overall again. She won on Friday in Angaston, Australia, 39 seconds ahead of teammate Lucy Kennedy. Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (Rally-UHC) was third.
“What can I say, my teammates were so, so amazing and whenever they ride so hard for you like that, you want to finish it off,” said Spratt. “We had a plan and when you can ride it to perfection as a team, it just feels amazing.”
Mitchelton-Scott drove the pace ahead of the 116.7km stage’s uphill finish on Mengler Hill.
They caught the race’s two breakaway riders, Rebecca Wiasak (UniSA Australia) and Deborah Paine (New Zealand), with about seven kilometers to go, setting Spratt up perfectly.
“We had Grace [Brown] do a fantastic job in the three or four kilometers before the climb and then Lucy [Kennedy] hit it,” Spratt added. “I had instructions to attack and bring no one with me so that’s what I did.”
Kennedy said she was happy to work for her fellow Australian because she could tell Spratt had better legs for the finish.
With two stages remaining, Mitchelon-Scott is in control with Spratt first overall and Kennedy second, 43 seconds behind. Doebel-Hickok is third, 51 seconds back.
Saturday’s stage will be a 104.5km race from Nairne to Stirling with a rolling profile. It will likely be the only opportunity for a shakeup in the GC standings as the final stage in Adelaide is entirely flat and short.