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Amanda Spratt will return to racing this weekend at the Santos Festival of Cycling after undergoing leg surgery this winter.
Following a season of disappointing results in 2021, Spratt had to have surgery on her leg in October after doctors diagnosed her with iliac artery endofibrosis.
The BikeExchange-Jayco rider, who is twice a podium finisher at the Giro d’Italia Donne, started riding again in November but she was unable to train properly until more recently as she was not allowed to raise her heart rate above 100bpm. Spratt did not contest the Australian national championships earlier this month and is looking forward to testing herself in racing conditions.
“My training has been going pretty well since the surgery. I’ve been able to train since just before Christmas and apart from a hamstring issue that we’ve had to manage, it’s been progressing well,” Spratt said.
Also read: Amanda Spratt riding again after leg surgery
“I’m at a point now where I can feel some fitness and strength coming back and although I’m very far away from top form, I am still really excited to be in Adelaide for the Santos Festival of Cycling. We thought this would be a great way to break up the rehab and training and I feel excited to be back with the team.”
The Santos Festival of Cycling is a week of events that have been put on in place of the Tour Down Under, which had to be canceled for a second year running due to COVID-19 border restrictions in Australia.
Looking forward to being back with the team and a great group of people. I’m feeling motivated, refreshed and excited for a fun week on roads that have been so good to me over the years 🧡 #TDUFestival https://t.co/kcLYAYJW5p
— AmandaSpratt (@AmandaSpratt) January 20, 2022
Among the events are para-cycling, track, BMX, mountain biking, and cyclocross races. A three-day women’s stage race will run from Sunday, January 23 to Tuesday, January 25. It will be followed by two night criteriums and then a three-day men’s stage race.
Given her limited proper training since the surgery on her leg, Spratt is not looking for a major result in the three-day race. Instead, she’s hoping to build her form as well as support her teammates, including Ruby Roseman-Gannon who won the recent Bay Cycling Classics and the Australian national criterium title.
“My own expectations will be very different to normal, but I am very motivated to be able to pin a number on and race with my teammates again. I’ve watched all of the races so far this year and can see how strong they are and supportive of each other,” Spratt said.
“Obviously, Ruby has shown she is in great form and the courses should suit her, but I think we will have different options and be able cover most scenarios. The courses are shorter than what we are used to racing but they look great and should suit a variety of riders. Stage 3 in particular looks like a tough one with the gravel sectors and tough late climb.”