• Valentina Scandolara will head in the final day of racing with a slim lead. (Con Chronis)Source: Con Chronis
Amanda Spratt's outstanding Portarlington win might play into the hands of Italian cyclist Valentina Scandolara at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic.
Cycling Central

3 Jan 2017 - 7:54 AM 

Spratt (Orica-Scott) nearly lapped the field on Monday with a devastating solo attack. That brought the two-time Australian road champion to within two points of Scandolara (Alé Cycling) on the overall series standings, ahead of the final round at Williamstown.

While five riders could win the overall title, Scandolara and Spratt ride for the two strongest teams and it is effectively down to them.

Race 3 of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic will be streamed live on the Cycling Central Facebook page from 1:00pm AEDT, Tuesday 3 January 2017.

What could help Scandolara is that for all Spratt's undoubted ability, she is not the top sprinter in the Orica-Scott lineup.

The Williamstown stage usually comes down to a bunch sprint, where Scandolara should have Spratt's measure.

Sarah Roy and Annamiek van Vleuten are the main Orica-Scott sprinters.

Barring a major surprise, Scandolara will win her first Bay Classic title if she beats Spratt on Tuesday.

But Scandolara noted it would not be beyond Spratt, who is in strong form ahead of next Sunday's Australian road race championships, to launch another big attack before the end of the Williamstown race.

Orica-Scott dominate second day of Bay Crits

"When Amanda attacked, it was fine for me, she's not the fastest in Orica, I can still manage it," Scandolara said after her sixth place at Portarlington.

"I'm happy I kept the jersey and, hopefully, tomorrow, it will be a better race for Alé (her team).

"Amanda is a great, great rider, she doesn't have a big punch, but she's always dangerous.

"It will be hard, I'm not denying it, but I'm always fighting and I will get dropped before I stop trying."