The GreenEdge-AIS outfit showed once again that team efforts pay dividends with Amanda Spratt and Tiffany Cromwell the first women across the finish line in Saturday's road race at the Mars Cycling Australia National Championships.
The result was a continuance of the new team's brilliant form which dominated the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic criterium series earlier in the week when Spratt was one of three members of the outfit to win a stage, with Melissa Hoskins also claiming the overall prize.
On Saturday, Spratt escaped from a select group of 18 at the top of the Buninyong climb to race on her own for the remaining two-and-a-half laps of the 10.1-kilometre course.
"There was a lull in the bunch at the top of the climb, and I thought I could go then and I thought, for me, that was probably the best way to get a gap," Spratt told Cyclingnews. "I didn't really back myself to get a bit of acceleration on the climb among some pretty strong climbing competition."
The result for both Spratt and Cromwell was evidence that the difficult times of the past 18 months are now well and truly in the past. Spratt had had time out from the sport after a painful sciatic nerve injury and Cromwell had changed European teams mid-season last year, severely disrupting her career's momentum. Spratt's fortunes started to turn around with her first UCI victory at the Czech Tour last July while Cromwell's future seems to be back on track with the advent of pulling on the GreenEdge-AIS kit this month.
Asked what the secret is to the team's success, Spratt and Cromwell agreeing, said, "We're not afraid to sacrifice ourselves for each other."
With the men's elite road race ahead on Sunday afternoon, and GreenEdge chasing their first individual stage victory of their debut season, both Spratt and Cromwell are adamant that it's time for the men to step up.
"We've been showing them how it's done," said Cromwell. "It's their turn now."
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As a sports journalist and producer since 1997, Jane has covered Olympic and Commonwealth Games, rugby league, motorsport, cricket, surfing, triathlon, rugby union, and golf for print, radio, television and online. However her enduring passion has been cycling.
Jane is a former Australian Editor of Cyclingnews from 2011 to 2013 and continues to freelance within the cycling industry.
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