In a head-to-head sprint finish at the Road National Championships in Victoria on Sunday, 2016 elite women’s title holder Amanda Spratt was narrowly edged out by Orica-Scott team-mate Katrin Garfoot.
In hot conditions, the 29-year-old Springwood cyclist made her breakaway on the seventh lap of the 10-lap 102km race near Ballarat, with Garfoot and Queenslander Lucy Kennedy chasing.
“On the eighth lap Kat [Garfoot] got away from Kennedy on the climb,” Spratt said.
“It was a dream scenario for the team as we could then ride the last 2.5 laps together. When you're away with a team-mate there is no messing around and we both fully committed to each other out there knowing that we could win the Australian Championship.”
Both battled cramps near the end, “It was almost a case of 'she who cramps last wins!’,” Spratt said.
“Kat has performed really strongly in those sort of sprints in the last year. She was the stronger rider on the day, so she definitely is a deserving winner.”
Garfoot also won the Australian Timetrial last Thursday, and Spratt won stage two of the Bay Criterium Series in Portarlington on January 2.
Spratt will compete in the Tour Down Under in Adelaide on January 14-17 and defend her title in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on January 28.