Daily News Digest: Sagan returns to winning ways; CX nationals round up

by Neal Rogers

January 15, 2018

In today’s Daily News Digest: Sagan opens season with win at People’s Choice Classic; Spratt takes Santos Women’s Tour GC, Hosking wins final stage; Van der Poel, Van Aert defend respective national CX titles; Cant, Brand, Ferrand-Prevot take national CX titles; Hyde defends US national cyclocross title after duel with Powers; Compton holds off Noble to take 14th consecutive national CX title; 2018 Vuelta a España route details announced; Sky debutant Halvorsen out for TDU after fracture in People’s Choice crash; Kask unveils Utopia, its most aerodynamic road helmet.

Spratt takes Santos Women’s Tour GC, Hosking wins final stage

by Simone Giuliani

ADELAIDE, Australia (CT) – The four-day Santos Women’s Tour Down Under has wrapped up with Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini) taking the win in the final stage, while Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) recovered from a mid-race crash to take the overall win for a second year.

The sprint stages bookended the four-day tour, with the final 46 kilometre street circuit around the Adelaide the opportunity riders like Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance Cycling), Hosking and Annette Edmondson (Wiggle High5) were holding out for through the crosswinds and climbs of Stages 2 and 3.

The second of four intermediate sprints threatened to unravel the ochre jersey race. As riders were fighting for position there was a big crash that took down about 15 women. That included Stage 1 winner Edmondson and Spratt. The two-time Australian road champion went down solidly and was clearly rattled but got up and kept riding. Teammate Jessica Allen shepherded Spratt back into the field and the squad rallied to calm her frayed nerves. In no time at all she was moving up toward the front.

The pace then predictably wound up in the final laps, with Ale-Cipollini working out the front as they held Hosking, one of the top favourites, in their ranks. And she delivered. Australia’s top ranked cyclist beat two-time world champion Bronzini to the line, with Edmondson rolling through in third.

Spratt came through with the bunch to win the overall for a second year and deliver the team a much needed win on home soil. The 30-year-old rider all but wrapped up the overall classification of the tour on Stage 3, getting a considerable gap on most of the field in a breakaway with Lauren Stephens (Cylance). Spratt then distanced Stephens on the final climb to win on a stage which she had earmarked on her December reconnaissance of the course.

Click through to read the full race report.