Cheered on by family and Blue Mountains supporters, Amanda Spratt has won her third consecutive Women’s Tour Down Under title.
The Springwood cyclist held back a competitive international field over the four-day race in South Australia, to claim the title on Sunday.
“This race is so special. When I sat down with my coach Gene Bates in October he asked me what my goals for the season were and the first thing I said was to win the Tour Down Under,” Spratt said.
The 31-year-old said she couldn’t have won the race without the support of her Mitchelton-Scott teammates.
“I think what I’m loving is that it’s not just one rider getting the results, everyone in the team is strong in their own right but when we are all coming together for a team goal everyone is really executing and committing and it’s nice to be a part of. I definitely couldn’t have achieved this without the help of my team,” Spratt said.
In the 376km race, separated into four stages, on one of the days the temperatures climbed into the high 30s.
“We get used to having to train and race in all kind of conditions so we know how to manage it well, but in the hottest stage I drank over 6 litres in 3.5 hours,” Spratt said.
Training on the ‘Hawkesbury bends’ was good preparation for the hilly Tour Down Under course.
“I did a lot of training on Hawkesbury lookout in November and December. It’s the perfect training terrain for me and especially when I have specific climbing efforts – it definitely helped in my TDU prep,” Spratt said.
The victory follows silver in the Australian Road Race Championships in Victoria on January 6.
“I was happy with silver at road nats. It’s a good way to start the season: of course it would have been great to win gold but I was very happy to support my teammate Sarah Roy [who took bronze] who was in the early breakaway,” Spratt said.
“We found out quite late that she was suffering out there so I attacked on the climb and caught everyone except one rider who stayed out in front from the early break – [winner] Sarah Gigante – she had a great ride on the day.”