Getting ready for the next step
After much success as a junior, it's now time for Amanda Spratt to move into senior ranks, a move that is not always easy. But this quietly-spoken teenager from the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, is ready for the challenge. Kristy Scrymgeour caught up with her after witnessing her go through the "torture test" in the lab at the AIS camp.
Despite having just been through a lung-busting test on the indoor bike in the physiology lab at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra, Spratt was still all smiles. "It's good to be here to familiarise myself with the people here and the coaches," she told us. "It's a good experience and really my first taste of what it's like to be a senior. I'm a little bit nervous. There are a lot of riders here who I've looked up to for a long time, but mostly I'm excited."
Spratt was one of 25 Australian women cyclists invited to Canberra in early December for testing and get-together, organized by national women's coach, Warren McDonald.
Many coaches have spotted Spratt as a rider of the future, but in her eyes, this camp and the upcoming races are still a chance for her to prove to herself that she's ready to move up into the senior ranks. "Hopefully I'll get the opportunity to go overseas and get some racing experience," she said. "I won't be going for a full year. Just for short stints to get experience and see what it's like. It depends on how I go at camp and in the racing in January."
Racing for the women is full-on in the New Year, starting with the Jayco Bay Classic in early January, the Australian Open Road Championships, the Adelaide Advertiser women's crits, and for Amanda, "hopefully track National's", then the Geelong Tour at the end of February, and the World Cup rounds in Geelong and then New Zealand. "I'm looking forward to it," she said of the packed program.
Click here for the full interview