Australian superstar Amanda Spratt (Lexus of Blackburn) has wasted no time in notching up her first victory of 2019, hammering her opponents with a solo win on day one of the Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits. It's the 31 year old's thirteenth appearance at the season opener, and sets her up superbly for the FedUni Road Nationals later this week.
“I’m really, really happy, it’s always the first race of the season and you’re not really sure how you’re going to go, but I was pleasantly surprised. I had a really good, uninterrupted pre-season of training and I’m very happy with where I’m at.”
“I was suffering out there, it wasn’t easy. I actually thought this course might be easier than the other way, but it’s harder. When I got away with Peta I know she’s a faster sprinter, so I didn’t want to take her to the line. I just had to keep attacking her on the climb.”
The Mitchelton-Scott rider's result also gives her ownership today of the Lexus Blackburn General Classification and the Gatorade Sprint Ace. While Spratt is part of the high-calibre LEXUS OF BLACKBURN All-Stars line-up for this event, it was individual riders who made up the podium, with reigning Australian Criterium champion REBECCA WIASAK (ACT) second and SHANNON MCCURLEY (VIC) third.
There are plenty of big names poised to pounce at tomorrow fast and furious tight track at Ritchie Boulevard.
In the men's race it was an international shoot-out with Austrian MARCO HALLER (Katusha Sport) getting the better of a five man breakaway that included German RAPHAEL FREIENSTEIN (Lexus of Blackburn), and Australian's MILES SCOTSON (SA), MICHAEL FREIBERG (WA) and REECE TUCKNOTT (WA).
The Austrian, who has battled back from a career-threatening knee injury that kept him out for almost 200 days, is also holding the Lexus Blackburn General Classification and Gatorade Sprint Ace.
"I was really excited to get it going, it’s obviously nice to have a test before the Tour Down Under. Awesome weather, awesome roads, awesome people – I really enjoy it."
"I didn’t really know where I was at, since I missed pretty much the whole last season due a severe injury. This basically was my first competitive race since my injury so therefore I’m very very happy to start it in this way. I had an incident with a car in training so I had a fracture of the left patella, it took me two surgeries and 190 days to come back on the bike. My career was in danger so I’m very happy to be back"
Hot favourite CALEB EWAN found himself a lap down after his seat post shifted and he was forced to have it adjusted, but it was deemed an 'unrecognised mechanical' and meant his race was all but over.