After her stage 6 victory at the Giro Rosa in Gerola Alta on Wednesday, Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) was a happy woman. She and teammate Annemiek van Vleuten played their cards well on the finishing climb, setting Spratt up for a solo victory and the maglia rosa.
“We couldn’t have asked for anything better from the team today,” Spratt said. “They all rode so well before the climb. We wanted to see if we had an opportunity to take time, and it worked out well. It was a hard climb, and Annemiek really set me up for my attack.”
Scouting the routes of important stages before the race has become commonplace in pro cycling. Spratt and van Vleuten went up to Gerola Alta in June to see what it was like, and this knowledge was an important piece of their race strategy.
“We came and rode this climb a couple of weeks ago, and that really paid of,” Spratt said. “We knew when to attack, we knew it would get steeper and we just had to stay patient until then. I went into the big ring because I knew it flattened off after and I am so happy to take the jersey, although it still feels a bit surreal.”
Van Vleuten finished in second place after a climb where the two Mitchelton-Scott riders used their respective strengths to full effect.
“We really wanted to win the stage today,” Van Vleuten said. “I rode hard, and Spratty attacked at a really good moment just after I finished my turn; she showed that she is in really good shape. I then just had to follow the wheels and could take some bonus seconds in the end. You never know how your legs are, so today was a good test and we can go into tomorrow’s stage with a lot of confidence.”
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