2023 Tour Down Under

Change In Overall Women's Tour Down Under Lead

Change In Overall Women's Tour Down Under Lead

Alexandra Manly overhauled solo breakaway Amanda Spratt to take the hilly stage two and claim the ochre leader's jersey in the women's Tour Down Under-

Jan 16, 2023 by AFP Report
Replay: Women's Tour Down Under Stage 2

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Australia's Alexandra Manly (Team Jayco-AlUla) overhauled solo breakaway Amanda Spratt to take the hilly stage two and claim the ochre leader's jersey in the women's Tour Down Under on Monday.


Three-time TDU winner Spratt (Trek-Segafredo) attempted to steal the stage with a lung-busting attack up Mount Lofty 10 kilometres from the finish of the 90km Birdwood to Uraidla leg in the opening World Tour event of the season in scorching temperatures.

But Manly reeled in Spratt in a sprint finish ahead of New Zealand's Georgia Williams (EF Education-Tibco-SVB) and Dutch rider Nina Buijsman (Human Powered Health).

Manly will take an eight-second lead over Williams for her home-based team into Tuesday's third and final Adelaide to Campbelltown stage over 93.2kms, featuring the demanding slopes of the 'Corkscrew'.

"I was perfectly looked after by my team all day, and I am just so thankful to do this in my own backyard," Manly said.

"I know that part of the road is always painful even when you go on a training ride so I was just making sure I had the momentum and, of course, Spratty was going to take the opportunity to attack.

"I don't have the same legs as Spratty on the climb so me being there forced the others to chase a bit and eventually I used the descent to try and bridge back some time."

Manly, 26, took four stage wins last year and the overall title at the Internationale LOTTO Thuringen Ladies Tour along with her first World Tour victory at the Tour of Scandinavia.

Spratt, one of the leading contenders for this year's TDU, powered up Mt Lofty trying to pinch a winning break but was just unable to hold on to finish 10th in the stage and lie 14 seconds behind Manly heading into the final stage.

"It's brutal, but that's sport. I got a really good gap and felt great on the climb," noted hill-climber Spratt said.

"It was fun being able to attack like that again, I haven't been able to do that in a few years, so I will take a lot of confidence out of that.

"I've got one more day to chase that leader's jersey now."

Compatriot Grace Brown, leading the French FDJ-Suez team, is another well in contention after her fifth-place finish to be third overall, eight seconds down.