• Amanda Spratt bounced back to win the Santos Women's Tour. (Con Chronis)Source: Con Chronis
Amanda Spratt crashed during the final stage of the Santos Women's Tour Down Under but has still managed to win the overall title.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
AAP
14 Jan 2018 - 9:23 PM  UPDATED 15 Jan 2018 - 12:03 PM

Amanda Spratt admitted to panic when she was caught in a big crash during the last stage of the women's Tour Down Under.

The Mitchelton-Scott rider recovered from the pileup to finish the street race and successfully defend her overall title.

Sprint ace Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini)  also went down in the pileup, but the Australian rallied to take out the bunch sprint for her first win of the year.

Riders were setting up on the home straight for the second intermediate sprint, eight laps into the 20 lap race when about 30 riders crashed.

Spratt had taken a healthy 29-second lead into the fourth and final stage.

That, plus the strength of her team, meant only a disaster could ruin her title defence. Briefly, that is exactly what Spratt feared had happened.

"It was quite stressful out there," Spratt said. "It wasn't ideal, but the team didn't panic - I think I panicked more than anyone else."

Teammates, especially Annamiek van Vleuten, made sure Spratt was able to rejoin the race and calm her nerves.

"She (van Vleuten) was trying to calm me down, everyone around me was really calm, so that helped," Spratt said.

"I'm sore, I have some skin off, but I'm alright."

Hosking already targeting Tokyo gold
Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini) is renowned as mercurial off the bike and a fierce competitor on it and that looks unlikely to change as she attempts to adapt her riding style and strengths to racing at the Olympics for Tokyo 2020.

Hosking was also hurt in the crash but unleashed a powerful sprint at the finish for an easy win.

She reported a sore back and a corked leg from the crash.

"I don't feel OK, no," Hosking said. "I'm starting to feel everything now.

"I went down hard. I think I flipped. I hope someone got it on video because it would have been spectacular.

"I'm really glad I could get the win in one of the stages of the tour because I came in knowing I had unreal form."

Spratt keeps impressing and she is after a big win this year, either at the Ardennes Classics in the European spring or the world titles later this year at Innsbruck, Austria.

Hosking is on a three-year program to turn herself into more of an all-around rider, with the Tokyo Olympics her main goal.

She aims to win the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Rd race at the end of the month, which would give her automatic Commonwealth Games selection.