• UCI Road World Championships 2019 Amanda Spratt Australia Womens Road Race (Getty)Source: Getty
'I'd love to win the rainbows. We aim for gold and that's why we go there.'
SBS Cycling Central

9 Sep 2020 - 4:20 AM  UPDATED 9 Sep 2020 - 4:34 AM

Speaking to Dave McKenzie and Christophe Mallet for the Zwift Cycling Central podcast on Tuesday (AEST), Australian rider Amanda Spratt said she expects thrilling, dynamic racing at both the upcoming Giro Rosa and UCI Road World Championships. 

While winning the rainbow jersey is her number one goal, Spratt believes the course at the nine stage Giro Rosa could also play into her hands.  

Australian champion Spratt and two-time defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten return to the Giro Rosa looking to make it a hat-trick of wins for Mitchelton-SCOTT in the only Grand Tour on the women's calendar.

The race rolls out from Grosetto with a team time trial on Friday, 11 September. 

"We don't have an individual time trial," Spratt said. "So for me that's actually going to change it quite a bit.

"Normally that's when people who are really targeting that worlds time trial like Annemiek, Anna van der Breggen that's their chance to really get a lot of minutes on the rest of the field. So this year I feel like it's a lot more dynamic course.

"We've got I think five hilltop finishes, I think they're saying only two sprint stages and all the way to the last stage. 

"We're not going to be sipping champagne and rolling around Rome. We're going to be racing all the way to the death."

"So it's going to be much more tactical. You're not going to know the result until that very last day. And I think as well with the way Annemiek's been racing so far - no one wants to get to a climb and try to match it with her."

"I think it's going to be one of the most exciting editions we've ever seen."

Spratt's biggest goal of the season remains the UCI Road World Championships, now to be held at Imola, Italy. 

"I'd love to win the rainbows. The goal is to go there and try to win."

"I've won a silver medal and a bronze medal with the Aussie team. I think to beat the Dutch we need to race as a really good unit and I think we have that now. "So I think we aim for gold and that's why we go there for."

Aigle-Martigny in Switzerland was originally to host the Sept 20-27 event but organisers last month decided the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible given the country's restrictions on public gatherings and quarantine requirements.

"The difference in Aigle we were looking at a sort of 10-15 minute climb just in one hit," Spratt said. "And from what I understand in Imola it's a much more demanding area as a whole so we're looking at more 3-6 minute climbs but no flat just up and down the whole time. 

"For my natural ability (Imola's) terrain probably suits me better than maybe what Aigle was going to do," Spratt said. "I think Aigle may have been more of a case of who could hold van Vleuten's wheel for how long on that sort of climb. That was sort of, I think she would have one tactic on that course."

"Whereas this I think it's going to be more dynamic and more exciting and from what I understand it's up and down it's quite technical as well so I don't think it's going to be as predictable and it will suit more riders."

"I think it will be a bit more open - probably in the men's as well as to what riders can actually end up winning in the end."

World champion, European champion and two-time Giro Rosa van Vleuten will be looking to continue her stunning 2020 form that has seen her rack up six wins from nine race starts when she lines up for the Giro Rosa's opening team time trial on Friday.

“I have been back in Italy to relax a bit mentally and to get a little bit more altitude exposure, because there’s still a long season ahead," van Vleuten said.

"I was already at a good level, so I didn’t really need to come back to altitude to train super hard. I came here with confidence and that’s also how I go to the Giro.

"I’m quite relaxed and excited, but also nervous because what’s hard for me, is that usually in stage races you cannot relax at any moment. So, it will be nine days fully focussed. I learned my lesson in 2017 with the team and I think everyone learned this lesson, so it’s also really good that I have an experienced team around me that are used to riding for the GC.

Mitchelton-SCOTT at the Giro Rosa (11 - 19 Sep): Grace Brown (AUS, 28, 2nd appearance) Lucy Kennedy (AUS, 32, 3rd appearance), Sarah Roy (AUS, 34, 5th appearance), Amanda Spratt (AUS, 32, 8th appearance), Moniek Tenniglo (NED, 32, 4th appearance), Annemiek van Vleuten (NED, 37, 10th appearance)

SBS will broadcast daily highlights from the Giro Rosa, from 4.30pm on SBS HD September 12-20.

Australia's men's and women's teams for the UCI Road World Championships

Women’s Road Race: Grace Brown (Mitchelton-Scott), Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope), Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-Scott), Shara Marche (FDJ) Rachel Neylan (Cronos Casa), Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott),
Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) 

Saturday 26 September: Women's Elite Road Race - 2230 AEST - SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand

Men’s Road Race: Simon Clarke (EF Pro Cycling), Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott), Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott), Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott), Jai Hindley (Team Sunweb), Damien Howson (Mitchelton-Scott), Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo)

Sunday 27 September: Men's Elite Road Race - 2230 AEST - SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand

Women’s Time Trial: Grace Brown (Mitchelton-Scott)

Men’s Time Trial: Rohan Dennis (Ineos Grenadiers), Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott)

Watch the Zwift SBS Cycling Central full podcast live show with Amanda Spratt: