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Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic: Amanda Spratt solos to victory in Portarlington

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The Orica-Scott trio of Annemiek Van Vleuten, Amanda Spratt and Jenelle Crooks on the podium

The Orica-Scott trio of Annemiek Van Vleuten, Amanda Spratt and Jenelle Crooks on the podium
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Amanda Spratt, middle, on the podium with her Orica-Scott teammates

Amanda Spratt, middle, on the podium with her Orica-Scott teammates
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Stage winner Amanda Spratt in the points jersey

Stage winner Amanda Spratt in the points jersey
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Valentina Scandolara (Ale Cycling) holds onto the overall race lead

Valentina Scandolara (Ale Cycling) holds onto the overall race lead
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Orica-Scott riders dominated the stage today

Orica-Scott riders dominated the stage today
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Peta Mullens sits just in front of the peloton during race day 2

Peta Mullens sits just in front of the peloton during race day 2
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Ellen Skerritt (Ale Cycling) leads the bunch

Ellen Skerritt (Ale Cycling) leads the bunch
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Jenelle Crooks leading Valentina Scandolara, Shannon Malseed and Peta Mullens mid-race

Jenelle Crooks leading Valentina Scandolara, Shannon Malseed and Peta Mullens mid-race
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Amanda Spratt riding to the stage 2 victory

Amanda Spratt riding to the stage 2 victory
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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The happy Orica-Scott team after sweeping the podium

The happy Orica-Scott team after sweeping the podium
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Amanda Spratt raises her arms in triumph

Amanda Spratt raises her arms in triumph
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Jenelle Crooks (Orica-Scott) attacks

Jenelle Crooks (Orica-Scott) attacks
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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The riders come through the start/finish with Ale Cycling leading

The riders come through the start/finish with Ale Cycling leading
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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The peloton spreads itself across the road

The peloton spreads itself across the road
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Jessica Allen (Orica-Scott)

Jessica Allen (Orica-Scott)
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Liza Rachetto (Hagens Berman | Supermint)

Liza Rachetto (Hagens Berman | Supermint)
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Amanda Spratt (Orica-Scott)

Amanda Spratt (Orica-Scott)
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Peta Mullens (Hagens Berman | Supermint)

Peta Mullens (Hagens Berman | Supermint)
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Leeana-Kate James (Skin Grows Back)

Leeana-Kate James (Skin Grows Back)
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Race leader Valentina Scandolara (Ale Cycling)

Race leader Valentina Scandolara (Ale Cycling)
(Image credit: Con Chronis)
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Liza Rachetto (Hagens Berman | Supermint)

Liza Rachetto (Hagens Berman | Supermint)
(Image credit: Con Chronis)

Amanda Spratt (ORICA-Scott) soloed to victory in Portarlington on the second day of the three-day Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic series. With the stage win, the Australian national road champion jumped up to second on the overall classification, two points behind stage one winner Valentina Scandolara (Alé).

"I've done 12 or 13 Bay Crits now," said Spratt. "This course is my favorite. I've been trying to win every year here and never have – and finally! I've only ever won one other one, in Williamstown, and every year I came here and say: ‘This is the year for Portarlington' and it's just never happened. I'm really happy."

Spratt's emphatic victory was a result of total domination by her team. The Australian squad split the race within the opening 10 minutes, putting all five riders in a 10-rider move before eventually sweeping the podium with Jenelle Crooks in second and Dutchwoman Annemiek van Vleuten in third.

"Yesterday we made a few mistakes," said Spratt. "We didn't use the numbers as best we could. Today we really wanted to make amends for that.

"Basically everyone on the team could have gotten away on the circuit," Spratt explained. "The main aim was to create a situation where there was a number of us on the front, and we could play to our numbers a bit more. We had the strongest and fittest team for the course."

ORICA-Scott perfectly played their numerical advantage on Monday. Having put the entire team in the initial split, Spratt and her teammates immediately set out to capitalise on their early work.

"We chose to drive that for a few laps even though everyone else was sitting on to get that gap consolidated," Spratt explained. "Then we could attack from there."

Spratt was the first to attack, and the move had staying power. Within one lap, she had pocketed 24-second over the chase group. It only took her five minutes to stretch the gap out beyond the minute mark.

"The first three or four laps, I drove it really hard to make sure I got the gap," said Spratt. "I could see the gap was going out quite quickly and I had information from [sport director] Gene [Bates] on the other side of the course, giving me the gap and telling me it was time to settle in. After a while, I could see the back of the peloton and relax a little bit as well."

Scandolara was isolated, without any teammates in the early split, but unfazed. While the situation wasn't ideal for the race leader, who won in Portarlington last year, it also wasn't the most threatening scenario.

"This lap suits me a lot, but I didn't have the numbers," said Scandolara. "My team suffered a little bit.

"When Amanda attacked, it was fine for me," added Scandolara. "She's not the fastest in ORICA. I'm like: 'If she wins, maybe I can still manage it.' It was ok for me because in that moment, they stopped attacking to let Amanda go."

A battle royale is shaping up for the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic yellow jersey with five riders in contention for overall glory. Although she's in for a chance to win the overall, Spratt insists the jersey is not a focus.

"We'll go in and try to win the stage again," said Spratt. "That's the main goal."

Scandolara is all in to win the series.

"I'm confident that my team will be there tomorrow again to try to control the race," said Scandolara. "Hopefully I will be there to do a good sprint in the end and keep the jersey."

"Tomorrow will be hard," she added. "I'm not denying that. I will keep fighting, and I will get dropped before I stop trying."

Brief Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-Scott0:45:14
2Jenelle Crooks (Aus) Orica-Scott0:01:37
3Annemiek Van Vleuten (Aus) Orica-Scott0:01:38
4Peta Mullens (Aus) Hagens Berman | Supermint
5Yumi Kajihara (Jpn) Novotel Geelong / Japan
6Valentina Scandolara (Aus) Alé Cycling0:01:40
7Sarah Roy (Aus) Orica-Scott
8Minami Uwano (Jpn) Novotel Geelong / Japan
9Shannon Malseed (Aus)
10Jessica Allen (Aus) Orica-Scott

Standings after day 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Valentina Scandolara (Ita) Alé Cycling17pts
2Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-Scott15
3Peta Mullens (Aus) Hagens Berman | Supermint13
4Shannon Malseed (Aus)12
5Jenelle Crooks (Aus) Orica-Scott10
6Yumi Kajihara (Jpn) Novotel Geelong / Japan10
7Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-Scott9
8Sarah Roy (Aus) Orica-Scott9
9Jessica Allen (Aus) Orica-Scott9
10Chloe Hosking (Aus) Alé Cycling7

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