Amanda Spratt's silver medal at the world road cycling championships capped an outstanding year for the Australian star.
Cycling Central

1 Jan 2019 - 8:32 AM 

Only the world's best cyclists now beat Amanda Spratt when she targets a big race.

With the Tokyo Olympics rapidly approaching, the 31-year-old is coming off the best year of her career.

Spratt won the silver medal in the road race at the world championships, capping a string of massive results through 2018 that confirmed she is now in the sport's top echelon.

She also won a stage in the women's Giro d'Italia, had two podium finishes in the Ardennes classics and successfully defended her Santos Women's Tour overall title in Adelaide.

"(Last year) 2018 was just a huge step up - even the year before, I stood there and said I wanted to target Ardennes and this and that, but I didn't really prove myself at all," she said.

"In 2018, I was really determined and set really clear goals around those Ardennes races, the Giro and the world championships.

"I was just focused during the season - it's not just one thing that worked, it's an accumulation."'

The focus now is turning a few of those big podium finishes into wins.

Only Dutch star Anna van der Breggen could best Spratt at the worlds.

"I didn't get some wins that I really wanted, (but) second place to Anna van der Breggen is not a bad result at all," Spratt said.

"It definitely leaves me hungry for this season."

Spratt is starting the year with her usual schedule - the Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits, the national championships and the Santos Women's Tour.

Tuesday 1 Thursday 3 January
Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits LIVE on the Cycling Central Facebook page

Tuesday 1 January
Women - 5pm
Men - 6pm

Wednesday 2 January
Women - 5pm
Men - 6pm

Thursday 3 January
Women - 1pm
Men - 2pm

She does not peak for January - her big goals are later in the year - but the domestic racing is an important base for the year ahead.

Nominally, Spratt would be co-team leader for the Lexus Blackburn All-Stars at the Bay Crits along with compatriot Chloe Hosking.

But the three-race series that starts on 1 January in Geelong is definitely one for the sprinters.

In her 12 years at the Bay Crits, Spratt has won just two races.

"Definitely it will be suiting Chloe a little bit more," she said with a laugh. "But I'm actually excited by that team.

"We (her and Hosking) don't get to race together often and it will be nice to join forces.

"It's a fun way to start the year, with less pressure and some exciting racing."