Spratt solos to maiden senior national title

GreenEdge-AIS has claimed the ultimate prize for Australian women's cycling, taking out the top two steps of the podium in Buninyong, Amanda Spratt and Tiffany Cromwell winning gold and silver in the women's road race. Rachel Neylan claimed the bronze medal, following a duel with Cromwell to the finish line with the pair 45 seconds back from Spratt.

"I knew I had good form coming in, but this is the sort of race you need luck on your side as well and I had that today," Spratt said following her win. "I also had a great team in the GreenEdge-AIS team – the four of us could have been on the top step of the podium but today was my day. I think that's the great thing about this team as well, everyone just backs each other up and that's what you saw today."

Saturday's win makes it two out of two for the new professional team, after Alexis Rhodes won her fourth Australian Criterium Championship on Thursday evening.

Spratt escaped for a leading bunch of 18 riders on the third-last climb of Mount Buninyong. A crash involving Gracie Elvin (Jayco-AIS) and Sue Forsyth helped Spratt's cause, and she was able to get away while her teammates controlled the front of the bunch. Spratt never looked back, with a maximum gain of 1:40 to the chase group.

Jayco-AIS' Sinead Noonan took out the under 23 category, bettering her result from 2011 when she finished as runner-up.

"Last year I finished in one of the chasing bunches so to finish in the main race today was really exciting."

Rebecca Werner (Specialized Women SA) claimed silver, and the ACT's Rebecca Henderson the bronze medal.

How it unfolded:

GreenEdge-AIS were the dominant talking point when it came to pre-race favourites with the majority of eyes on Oceania road champion, Shara Gillow. Defending champion, Alexis Rhodes was also considered a serious threat.

The opening lap saw the retirement of Rochelle Gilmore, the Commonwealth Road Champion later tweeting that it was "1 lap too many" while several others were off the back of the main bunch the first time over Mount Buninyong.

An in-form Jessie Maclean (GreenEdge-AIS) staked her claim on the sprint competition, taking the early points on offer while her teammates assumed their position at the head of the bunch. Jayco Bay Cycling Classic winner, Melissa Hoskins buried herself for the GreenEdge-AIS team, as did Rowena Fry with the aim of setting up Spratt, Rhodes or Gillow for the win.

The bunch stayed together for the first half of the race, with Elvin attempting the odd move off the front just after the halfway mark however, was closely marked by Cromwell.

With three laps to go in the 10-lap race, Spratt made her move, at first taking 40 seconds before moving out of sight. The battle of 18 turned into a battle between 12 with Taryn Heather (Jayco-AIS), Carlee Taylor (Jayco-AIS), Cromwell, Carla Ryan, Neylan, Rhodes, Gillow, Miranda Griffiths, Loren Rowney (Specialized – lululemon), Jo Hogan (VIS) and Elvin left to fight it out for the minor medals.

Neylan was the first to jump in pursuit of Spratt on the last climb of the day with Cromwell hot on her heels.

"We decided that she [Spratt] was far enough away so we would work together and then coming into the last kilometre I made Rachel sit on the front," Cromwell told Cyclingnews.

Neylan, who had made it a priority to "look after herself and stay fresh" knew that a serious effort was going to be required as the finish line approached, and was the first to launch the sprint for the minor placings several hundred metres from the tape.

"That was a pretty big effort because Tiff sat on my wheel up there and she had some speed coming off Bay Crits," a relieved Neylan told Cyclingnews. "She [Cromwell] played it tactically better than me. I'm a little bit disappointed that I didn't get the silver but I'm happy with bronze."

Rhodes crossed the line in fourth position while Elvin rounded out the top five. Gillow was seventh, the fourth GreenEdge-AIS rider to finish in the top 10, Maclean was next best in 21st place.

Asked if the result put the pressure on the men to do the same, Spratt and Cromwell were adamant – "Absolutely" they replied in unison.

Cromwell, who joined the Hitek Products-UCK outfit mid-season after severing ties with Lotto-Honda, said that the result was especially exciting because of her frustrating previous 12 months.

"It just gives me confidence," she explained. "I've done a really good training block this off-season because this is an important year, an Olympic year and after last year's trouble I just wanted to show people that I'm back and have not gone anywhere."




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Full results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Amanda Spratt (NSW)2:55:22
2Tiffany Cromwell (SA)0:00:45
3Rachel Neylan (SA)Row 2 - Cell 2
4Alexis Rhodes (SA)0:01:30
5Gracie Elvin (ACT)Row 4 - Cell 2
6Carla Ryan (Vic)Row 5 - Cell 2
7Shara Gillow (QLD)Row 6 - Cell 2
8Joanne Hogan (Vic)Row 7 - Cell 2
9Grace Sulzberger (Tas)Row 8 - Cell 2
10Taryn Heather (Vic)Row 9 - Cell 2
11Stephanie Ives (Vic)Row 10 - Cell 2
12Sinead Noonan (SA) U23Row 11 - Cell 2
13Miranda Griffiths (Vic)Row 12 - Cell 2
14Carlee Taylor (SA)Row 13 - Cell 2
15Lucy Coldwell (Vic)0:04:41
16Peta Mullens (Vic)Row 15 - Cell 2
17Loren Rowney (QLD)Row 16 - Cell 2
18Rebecca Werner (SA) U230:06:35
19Rebecca Henderson (A.C.T) U23Row 18 - Cell 2
20Chloe Mcconville (Vic)Row 19 - Cell 2
21Jessie Maclean (ACT)Row 20 - Cell 2
22Katrin Garfoot (QLD)Row 21 - Cell 2
23India Faehndrich (NSW)Row 22 - Cell 2
24Lisa Barry (NSW)Row 23 - Cell 2
25Laura Meadley (ACT)Row 24 - Cell 2
26Cait Fraser Jones (Vic)Row 25 - Cell 2
27Chloe Hosking (ACT) U230:08:09
28Lauren Kitchen (NSW) U23Row 27 - Cell 2
29Lisa Jacobs (Vic)0:08:37
30Jessica Allen (Wa) U230:10:32
31Kate Finegan (Vic)0:12:00
32Jenni King (Vic)Row 31 - Cell 2
33Therese Rhodes (SA)0:12:17
34Nicole Moerig (QLD)0:13:51
35Sue Forsyth (NSW)0:14:12
36Melina Bernecker (Vic)0:15:03
37Amy Bradley (Vic)Row 36 - Cell 2
38Heidi Buntrock (Vic)0:20:10
DNFBridie O'Donnell (Vic)Row 38 - Cell 2
DNFRebecca Wiasak (ACT)Row 39 - Cell 2
DNFRowena Fry (Tas)Row 40 - Cell 2
DNFNicole Whitburn (Vic)Row 41 - Cell 2
DNFKellie Mathers (Vic)Row 42 - Cell 2
DNFElizabeth Hall (Vic)Row 43 - Cell 2
DNFMegan Bagworth (ACT)Row 44 - Cell 2
DNFDelphine Astier (Vic)Row 45 - Cell 2
DNFCarley Mckay (Vic)Row 46 - Cell 2
DNFKimberley Wells (ACT)Row 47 - Cell 2
DNFEmma Mackie (NSW)Row 48 - Cell 2
DNFMadeleine Pape (Vic)Row 49 - Cell 2
DNFBelinda Goss (Vic)Row 50 - Cell 2
DNFManuela Tzvetanova (QLD)Row 51 - Cell 2
DNFVictoria Luxton-Bain (Vic)Row 52 - Cell 2
DNFNicole Mcnamara (Vic)Row 53 - Cell 2
DNFEmma Viotto (ACT)Row 54 - Cell 2
DNFRochelle Gilmore (NSW)Row 55 - Cell 2
DNFMarianne Westacott-Clermonts (QLD)Row 56 - Cell 2
DNFElizabeth Phillipou (SA)Row 57 - Cell 2
DNFAlexis Barnes (QLD)Row 58 - Cell 2
DNFSarah Riley (Vic)Row 59 - Cell 2
DNFRebecca Locke (Vic)Row 60 - Cell 2
DNFKatherine O'shea (Vic)Row 61 - Cell 2
DNFKelly Bartlett (Vic)Row 62 - Cell 2
DNFNatalie Langer (QLD)Row 63 - Cell 2
DNFCarly Williams (Vic)Row 64 - Cell 2
DNFJustyna Lubkowski (Vic)Row 65 - Cell 2
DNFKirsty Broun (QLD)Row 66 - Cell 2
DNFAlexandra Carle (ACT) U23Row 67 - Cell 2
DNFAilie Mcdonald (ACT) U23Row 68 - Cell 2
DNFAlice Wallett (ACT) U23Row 69 - Cell 2
DNFMelissa Hoskins (Wa) U23Row 70 - Cell 2
DNFJasmin Hurikino (QLD) U23Row 71 - Cell 2
DNFAngela Mcclure (SA) U23Row 72 - Cell 2
DNFEmma Lawson (Tas) U23Row 73 - Cell 2
DNFChloe Mcintosh (Vic) U23Row 74 - Cell 2
DNFAshlee Ankudinoff (NSW) U23Row 75 - Cell 2
DNFMyfanwy Galloway (ACT) U23Row 76 - Cell 2
DNFKristy Glover (Vic) U23Row 77 - Cell 2
DNSTrudy Van Der Straaten (NSW)Row 78 - Cell 2
DNSKendelle Hodges (Vic) U23Row 79 - Cell 2
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Sprint Competition
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Jessie Maclean (ACT)13pts
2Amanda Spratt (NSW)6Row 1 - Cell 3
3Miranda Griffiths (Vic)5Row 2 - Cell 3
4Cait Fraser Jones (Vic)3Row 3 - Cell 3
5Taryn Heather (Vic)3Row 4 - Cell 3
6Joanne Hogan (Vic)2Row 5 - Cell 3
7Katrin Garfoot (QLD)2Row 6 - Cell 3
8Tiffany Cromwell (SA)1Row 7 - Cell 3
9Carla Ryan (Vic)1Row 8 - Cell 3
DNFNicole Whitburn (Vic)7Row 9 - Cell 3
DNFRebecca Wiasak (ACT)5Row 10 - Cell 3
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Hill Climb Competition
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Carlee Taylor (SA)10pts
2Cait Fraser Jones (Vic)9Row 1 - Cell 3
3Katrin Garfoot (QLD)5Row 2 - Cell 3
4Tiffany Cromwell (SA)4Row 3 - Cell 3
5India Faehndrich (NSW)4Row 4 - Cell 3
6Taryn Heather (Vic)4Row 5 - Cell 3
7Amanda Spratt (NSW)3Row 6 - Cell 3
8Gracie Elvin (ACT)3Row 7 - Cell 3
9Carla Ryan (Vic)2Row 8 - Cell 3
10Laura Meadley (ACT)2Row 9 - Cell 3
11Rachel Neylan (SA)1Row 10 - Cell 3
DNFEmma Mackie (NSW)1Row 11 - Cell 3


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