Spratt: I know where the opportunities are at the Women's Tour Down Under

09 January 2019 07:20
A day ahead of the start of the 2019 Women's Tour Down Under (January 10-13), defending champion Amanda Spratt says that she's identified where she and her Mitchelton-Scott teammates will try to get the upper hand and gain time – and try to make it three overall wins in a row for the Australian. The 31-year-old pointed to Friday and Saturday – stages 2 and 3 – as the days most likely to have the biggest impact on the race, when the race finishes on Mengler Hill in the Barossa Valley and on a gradual climb up to Stirling, respectively. "I think that the Mengler Hill stage [stage 2] will be the first real GC day," Spratt told journalists at the pre-race press conference at the Hilton Adelaide on Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT "Mengler Hill is a tough climb, but it's never just about the climb itself; it's about how hard the race is beforehand. It can be quite open there – quite windy – but a lot depends on how hard it's raced coming into the climb, and obviously we hope it's raced hard. Any race that finishes on a two-three kilometre climb like that is going to be hard, and we're going to see time differences there for sure," she said. The following day from Nairne to Stirling uses a finishing circuit based on the one that's been used a number of times by the men's race, and the winners there have often been riders who can both climb and sprint – such as Jay McCarthy and Michael Matthews – although out-and-out sprinter Caleb Ewan and true all-rounder Tom-Jelte Slagter have also won there, making it a difficult one to call. "I think that stage 3 to Stirling could possibly be the most exciting stage," Spratt said. "I think it really depends on what happens on the Mengler Hill stage, and how big the time gaps are. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com . read full article

Source: Cycling News