Sunday's Tour of Guangxi women's race will be Amanda Spratt's first race since taking the silver medal at the World Championship road race in Innsbruck, Austria, last month, and her last race of the 2018 season.
Spratt will head a strong Mitchelton-Scott squad for the final round of the UCI Women's WorldTour in China, and will be accompanied by fellow Australians Gracie Elvin, Lucy Kennedy and Alex Manly, as well as New Zealand road race champion Georgia Williams.
"En route to China. A new experience for me but I'm excited for my last race of the season with Mitchelton-Scott and looking forward to supporting my teammates," Spratt tweeted on Thursday.
While Spratt and Kennedy will enjoy the day's main climb that comes just over 100 kilometres into the 145.8-kilometre-long one-day race based around Guilin, Elvin and Williams will be waiting in the wings for if the race comes down to a bunch sprint.
Mitchelton-Scott directeur sportif Martin Vestby said that he believes the team's five-rider squad is a good combination of both climbers and sprinters.
"It's a race that can be quite open, with a mix of teams and riders, so I think we can follow a little bit but not be too aggressive," Vestby said on the team's website.
"We have Lucy and 'Spratty' who are strong on the climbs, but it's still quite far to the finish – around 30km from the top of the climb – so there's still a good chance it will be some sort of peloton arriving together at the finish line.
"Hopefully they can all survive and we can have numbers to play with in the final," Vestby continued. "Gracie and Georgia are our options for the sprint, but the riders will need to be honest with each other as to how they're feeling after the travel, and will need to talk and decide a little bit out on the road."
Kennedy – the 2017 Oceania time trial champion, who finished fourth overall at the Santos Women's Tour and fifth at Strade Bianche this year – is looking forward to an unpredictable race in a country she hasn't raced in before.
"It's my first trip to China so I'm looking forward to racing somewhere completely different," she said. "Unlike most of the racing the women's peloton does in China, the course does have some hills.
"While they don't look particularly hard, and are a long way from the finish, it's hard to predict how the race will unfold. At this time of year everyone's form is a bit unknown. We're starting with a small team, but still have a lot of versatility to challenge either in a sprint finish or if it breaks up over the climbs."
Mitchelton-Scott for the Tour of Guangxi women's race: Gracie Elvin, Lucy Kennedy, Alex Manly, Amanda Spratt, Georgia Williams
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