• Amanda Spratt will be aiming for another road national championship title. (Con Chronis)Source: Con Chronis
The powerful Orica-Scott women's cycling team are wary of their rivals ahead of this weekend's Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships road race.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
AAP
7 Jan 2017 - 7:01 AM  UPDATED 7 Jan 2017 - 12:20 PM

Amanda Spratt and her Orica-Scott teammates plan to keep their options open, despite her strong form for the Australian road cycling championships.

Spratt is the rider to beat in the women's road race on Sunday at Buninyong, near Ballarat. She is the defending champion, winning in 2012 as well on the testing 10km Buninyong circuit.

Spratt also continues to develop as a rider and has spoken of calming the self-doubt that had once plagued her mindset.

The Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships elite women's and men's races will be broadcast on SBS Viceland and streamed online here at the website from 1pm AEDT.

Her storming victory last week at the Portarlington round of the Bay Classic series, when she nearly lapped the field with a solo attack, proved Spratt is ready.

But Peta Mullens' outstanding nationals win in 2015 showed it is possible to beat the powerful Orica-Scott team.

"I'm not going to be the sole leader, definitely not, but I guess it's a course I know I can win on," Spratt said.

"I know with my training and preparation that I definitely have the form to win.

"But it's one of those races, you know anything can happen and the main thing (is) we're going in with a really strong team."

Orica-Scott have dominated the nationals so far, with Caleb Ewan and in-form youngster Jessica Allen winning the criterium titles.

Kat Garfoot successfully defended her time-trial crown and Alexandra Manly took out the under-23 category.

But Spratt said Mullens' strong form at the Bay Classic was noted and she rattled off a list of other threats - Lauren Kitchen, Shara Gillow and Kate Perry among them.

Teammate Gracie Elvin, also a two-time winner at Buninyong, noted additionally that Tiffany Cromwell was a perennial threat.

Elvin will probably have a support role on Sunday, especially given she missed five days of road training over Christmas because an airline sent her bike to the wrong destination.

But Elvin also noted that had taken some pressure off her for Sunday's race.

SBS and Fox to broadcast 2017 MARS Road Nationals
SBS and Fox Sports have been confirmed as broadcast partners for the 2017 MARS Cycling Australia Road Nationals Championships, with the two networks to provide an expanded coverage of ‘Super Sunday’ in 2017.