Amanda Spratt second on queen stage at Setmana Ciclista
An exciting three-up sprint for the line saw Spratty [Amanda Spratt] take another second place in the opening part of her 2023 season.
It was time for the climbers to have some real fun at Setmana Ciclista – Volta Comunitat Valenciana Fèmines with Spratty and Gaia Realini relishing the opportunity to get in on the action at the front of the race.
In the end it was Spratty who was battling it out for the stage victory and after the finish, she gave us the lowdown on day three in Spain…
Spratty’s stage recap and reaction
I think I have to be really proud with a second place. We knew this was going to be the queen stage and the hardest stage and firstly, my teammates really looked after Gaia [Realini] and me in the first part of the day. We really didn't have to do much at all. They were getting us bidons and keeping us out of the wind so really want to say thank you to them. You know, even Barzi [Elisa Balsamo] in the leader's jersey switched roles right away and was really looking after us so we were perfectly positioned going into the Tudons climb where we knew it was going to kick off and where we expected Annemiek to attack.
Gaia did a super job at setting a really hard pace around 7-8 kilometers from the top and then Annemiek [Van Vleuten] attacked and that's where the split happened and I could go with her and Ashleigh [Moolman-Pasio]. From there it was sort of a tactical battle with the three us. We caught the break and then we would go away from the others and then they would come back. In the end, if I look at my progression over the last year then I can be really proud that I could be in that position.
I don't think that's something I have ever been able to do [follow every acceleration from Annemiek] when she is going full gas. I know she is also coming off a big block of altitude as well so it's early season and exciting to be in that position and to be fighting it out with riders like Annemiek and Ashleigh, who finished on top of the WorldTour in Romandie last year. She made a really good move on the last roundabout down the left side. I caught it out of the corner of my eye but it was too late so hats off to her for that. I am disappointed I couldn't get the win for the team after all their work but I can still be proud.
The GC is still really close. We slowed down a bit in the last kilometer and the group behind came back so we still have Gaia in a really good position. There is a hard climb towards the end of the day so we still have another opportunity tomorrow.