Santos Women’s Tour: Orica-AIS dominates third stage
It was a hot day in the saddle for day three of the Santos Women’s Tour, and with 100.8 kilometers to be completed, it was the longest of the tour.
The race around Lyndoch saw various attacks and when a seven-rider breakaway got away on the second time around the 25.2-kilomtere circuit, it looked promising with Orica-AIS, Cylance Pro Cycling and WiggleHigh5 all represented.
The break was caught but Orica-AIS was on the attack again. At the start of the final lap it was Australian national champion, Amanda Spratt, who went on a long solo attack and a six-rider chase group formed behind her. The peloton let the break and Spratt dangle for a while before giving chase.
Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM) and Lauren Kitchen (Hitec Product) burned a lot of matches trying to get Spratt back and when they did, it seemed like today’s stage would finish with a group sprint among the breakaway riders.
But, after two-and-an-hours in the saddle, Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS) launched a late but successful attack and crossed the finish line solo, 19 seconds ahead of teammate and GC leader Katrin Garfoot and Lauren Kitchen in third.
“Spratty was just a workhorse out the front, dangling like a rabbit. She allowed us to sit on the whole time and ultimately I had the energy to go with about four kilometres to go. That’s teamwork,” said Lizzie Williams after the race.
With today’s results, Garfoot retains the overall lead of the tour but four other riders –Lauren Kitchen, Shelley Olds (Cylance Pro Cycling) and Dani King (Wiggle High5) — are on equal time. With only one stage remaining, tomorrow’s evening criterium at Victoria Park promises to be an exciting one.
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