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Spratt on new calendar: Giro Rosa could be good preparation for Worlds

Australian road race champion Amanda Spratt at the 2020 Women’s Tour Down Under
Australian road race champion Amanda Spratt at the 2020 Women’s Tour Down Under (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Australian road race champion Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) says that the Giro Rosa coming so close to this year's World Championships on the revised 2020 UCI calendar could prove to be advantageous to her.

Both the proposed men's and women's calendars for the remainder of the 2020 season were unveiled by the UCI on Tuesday, with the women's calendar set to start with Strade Bianche on August 1 and end with the Madrid Challenge from November 6-8.

In between come arguably the two biggest events of the women's season: the Giro Rosa, from September 11-19, and the UCI Road World Championships, which run from September 20-27.

It's a similar situation to the men's overlap of the Tour de France with the World Championships – a concern raised this week by Mitchelton-Scott's Australian men's time trial champion Luke Durbridge, who said that the lack of time-trial kilometres during this year's Tour ahead of the mid-week Worlds TT events could prove challenging to a chrono specialist like him.

However, for road-race contenders like Spratt, the week between the end of the Giro Rosa and the women's road race at the Worlds may work in her favour.

"It will be a challenge," admitted Spratt in a Mitchelton-Scott press release this week. "I look at the Giro and World Championships timing and I think that it's exciting, but it's also very close.

"It's uncharted territory for me," she continued. "I have never had that kind of lead-in to a World Championships because I've normally gone to altitude or had a training block.

"There's another week before the road race [September 26], and it's very hard and hilly," said Spratt, who finished third at the 2019 Worlds road race and second in 2018. "So maybe if the Giro course is what it usually is, which is quite tough, then it could be good preparation."

A women's Paris-Roubaix

A surprise addition to the revamped calendar was a women's edition of Paris-Roubaix, which is set to be held on the same day as the rescheduled men's event, on October 25. While Spratt didn't commit to riding the inaugural women's Roubaix, the 32-year-old was thrilled with the announcement about the cobbled Classic.

"I am shaking and aching just looking at Paris-Roubaix on the calendar, but I think it’s awesome," she said. "It's the one race the women's peloton has really been asking for. It's such an iconic race, and I think there's no reason why we can't go there and put on a really good show. It's a huge step forward and really pleasing that the ASO [organiser] have taken on that feedback."

Spratt may even find herself forced to line up for the pavé as half of her Mitchelton-Scott team are currently at home in Australia or New Zealand, while Spratt has spent the lockdown period at her European base in Switzerland.

"Aside from the world health situation, we're also going to have to wait to see if those riders who did go home will even be able to make it back to Europe," said Spratt. "In the end, it could be a case that we will have to pick and choose races a little bit, and not try to race everything.

"Certainly, I look at races that I really love, like Strade Bianche and the Ardennes [Classics], and obviously the Giro and the World Championships were something that I was already targeting, so it's really pleasing to see all of those races still on the calendar, but I think we will sit down as a team and look at our options," she said.