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Amanda Spratt leads Giro Donne GC charge for BikeExchange-Jayco

MALLABIA SPAIN MAY 14 Amanda Spratt of Australia and Team Bikeexchange Jayco prior to the 1st Itzulia Women 2022 Stage 2 a 1179km stage from Mallabia to Mallabia 262m ItzuliaWomen UCIWWT on May 14 2022 in Mallabia Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images
Amanda Spratt (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Amanda Spratt may have spent the early part of the season building form after iliac artery surgery but after a focussed training period the Australian rider will once again be leading BikeExchange-Jayco's GC challenge at the Giro d’Italia Donne.

However BikeExchange-Jayco is not going to be purely focussed on the GC with Spratt, who has twice stood on the overall podium while supporting former teammate Annemiek van Vleuten to victory. Georgia Baker and Kristen Faulkner, who will be making their Giro Donne debuts, are set to chase results as well. That’s likely to be evident right from the start on Thursday June 30, with the Cagliari

prologue, as both have shown their strong  form in the race against the clock at the Tour de Suisse, with Faulkner winning the stage 2 time trial while Baker came third.

“With Spratt coming back stronger and stronger, we should have some expectations for the GC. Georgia is in good condition and will certainly have opportunities to try and bring home a good result too,” head sport director Martin Vestby said in a team statement. “This will be the first time Kristen has started a 10-day stage race and her support role will be important for Amanda, but at the same time she will have some opportunities of her own.”

The experienced Ane Santesteban, who has twice finished in the top ten of the race, was part of the initial team line-up but, after a positive COVID-19 test, has been replaced by Georgia Williams. Teniel Campbell and Nina Kessler will provide support across the stages, as the race moves from the island of Sardinia through the mainland and onto the decisive GC stages in the Alps and the Dolomites before finishing in Padova on July 10.

Spratt eased back into racing at the domestic Santos Festival of Cycling in Australia in January and started in Europe at the Strade Bianche in March. Since then she has lined up at a number of races, playing a support role, and her best result so far this season has been a seventh on stage 1 of Itzulia Women. Spratt hasn’t pinned on a number since the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas in May, instead training in Livigno to build the strength and fitness that will be most needed on the demanding Giro Donne course.

“My personal goal is to aim for a high GC result,” Spratt said. “I don’t think we can put a number on that, and we also have to be realistic with where I’m coming back from after my artery operation. So far this year I’ve made steady progress, but I will take it day-by-day and aim to be at my best for the hardest stages. I want to be up there fighting with everything I have and not have any regrets.”

“We take a really strong team to the Giro, so I am confident we can start with different goals and I’m also looking forward to seeing my teammates take opportunities too. We are on a roll at the moment, and it’s been great to see the momentum building in the last races like Britain and Suisse. I think we will be able to use our numbers and our biggest strength will be how we can race together and back each other up.”

BikeExchange-Jayco Giro d'Italia Donne team

  • Georgia Baker
  • Teniel Campbell
  • Kristen Faulkner
  • Nina Kessler
  • Georgia Williams (replacing Ane Santesteban)
  • Amanda Spratt

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Simone Giuliani

Simone joined the team as Production Editor based in Australia at the start of the 2021 season, having previously worked as Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg.