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WOMEN'S CYCLING BROUGHT TO YOU BY ORBEA
MENGLER’S HILL, Australia (CT) – The winds whipped up, the rain came down and the gradient turned up on the second stage of the Santos Women’s Tour. Adding to the force of nature was a determined Mitchelton-Scott, putting on the pressure at any opportunity as the peloton wound their way through the Barossa.
However, no one could stop an in-form Katrin Garfoot (UniSA-Australia), who fought off the combination of Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-Scott) and defending champion Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) after the trio rode off the front of a reduced group on the way up the climb. Garfoot crested the final hill with Kennedy on her wheel but managed to shake her off as it flattened out on the final run into the line. Spratt finished eight seconds back in third on the 101.2 kilometre stage from Lyndoch to Mengler’s Hill.
The dual 2017 World Road Championships medallist, Garfoot, is now heading into the final road stage with the Ochre leaders jersey on her back … and as always a big target. The next three spots on the general category are taken by Mitchelton-Scott riders, with Kennedy 4 seconds back, Spratt at 14 and Annemiek van Vleuten at 25 seconds.
The second stage was always going to be a tough and pivotal day, with the first summit finish for the 2.1 ranked tour on the cards. But with the pace being wound up right from the first climb of Whispering Wall, barely over 10 kilometres in, riders were yo-yoing on and off the bunch all day. Time after time Mitchelton-Scott used the hills and cross winds to apply pressure to the field to try and chip away at the strong national team around Garfoot. They wanted strength in numbers to try and find some way to wear down their former teammate and 2016 tour winner.
That early intensity wasn’t enough to stop Garfoot winning, though it may have helped keep the gap in check. It also contributed to a further thinning of the ranks. Over the past two days 15 riders have bowed out of the tour.
Here’s the Stage 2 highlights video from the Santos Women’s Tour:
Follow the link to see the full results from Stage 2. Up next is the final road stage, a technical and lumpy 122.4 kilometres from The Bend Motorsport Park to Hahndorf.
Ella CyclingTips is on the ground covering the race so keep an eye on the Ella page, Ella CyclingTips Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for the latest news.