Road cycling queen Amanda Spratt takes lead in women's cycling Tour

Amanda Spratt claims Stage 2 by a length in Birdwood. Photo: Tour Down Under
Amanda Spratt claims Stage 2 by a length in Birdwood. Photo: Tour Down Under

Australian road cycling queen Amanda Spratt is in the box seat to claim a fourth consecutive Women's Tour Down Under title after winning stage two.

The recently crowned national road race champion won the 114.9km stage in the Adelaide Hills from American champion Ruth Winder (Trek Segafredo) and Germany's Liane Lippert (Sunweb).

Spratt's Mitchelton-Scott teammate Grace Brown was fourth.

In winning her first stage of the 2020 Tour - and fourth of her career - Spratt also took the ochre jersey from Rally Cycling's Chloe Hosking.

It meant the overall lead switched hands from one national title holder to another.

Women's Tour Down Under 2020 stage two starts in Murray Bridge. You can see photos galore by hitting on the image above

Women's Tour Down Under 2020 stage two starts in Murray Bridge. You can see photos galore by hitting on the image above

Criterium champion Hosking is now 21 seconds behind Spratt, who had started the day 11 seconds back from the stage one winner.

Spratt, 32, was alone with Lippert and Winder for the final few hundred metres of stage two and used all of her guile and experience to prevail over the younger riders.

"On paper normally they're faster than me but it was just such a hard race and I know I have a really good sprint in that situation," Spratt said.

Spratt paid tribute to her Mitchelton-Scott teammates, in particular Brown and Lucy Kennedy.

"We had a really strong team plan today," Spratt said.

"We knew it could be a hard final, but we had to make it hard.

"The girls did an excellent lead-out into one of the final climbs and then Lucy Kennedy just killed herself over those climbs to make it really hard.

"We had three (riders) in five. After that, it was just Grace Brown and myself trying to attack and trying to get rid of the others."

Winder, who arrived in Australia from winter training in Colorado, is four seconds behind Spratt in second place in the general classification.

Former German road race champion Lippert is third, a further second behind Winder, and conceded post-race she had made a crucial error on stage two by starting her final sprint too early.

But the 22-year-old, who leads the young rider classification, wasn't surprised to be in a battle with Tour favourite Spratt.

"I knew that I'm really good in this kind of climb like this - short, explosive climbs - and that I can handle it at high speed," Lippert said.

"I was hoping to do good in this stage and I was really looking forward to it."

Australian Associated Press