SBS Cycling Central and will be showing a daily highlights package from the 2021 Giro d'Italia Donne, with the one-hour highlights also on SBS from 3:30pm weekends or 4pm weekdays from July 3-12.
The prestigious 10-day Italian stage race will see a number of Aussies take to the startline, but two-time podium finisher Amanda Spratt looks to be the star attraction, with the Team BikeExchange rider entering as the leader, the three-time Australian national road race champion aiming for another top GC showing.
“I’m really looking forward to the Giro," said Spratt. "We had a really great altitude camp in Livigno with the team in preparation for the race, so the morale is high and I think the form from everyone on the team is very high at the moment. We were able to do some really specific work targeting some key stages and I’m sure that will pay off come race time."
Spratt isn't a stranger to Giro Rosa success, having taken stage win in 2018 and worn the leader's pink jersey enroute to finishing third overall. She went into the race as co-leader alongside Annemiek van Vleuten in 2020, but unfortunately crashed out in a dramatic fall on Stage 8.
"I have great memories from the Giro," said Spratt. "Of course, last year ended badly with the crash, but before that I was on the final GC podium both times. I know it’s a race I can do well in and that I generally become better throughout the tour too.
"We also have Ane Santesteban and Grace Brown who I think can also do well in the overall, so I think we can aim to have good numbers at the top and play the game in the finals."
Brown impressed at the recent running of La Course, present in both a late attack and the final kick to the finish line, while Santesteban was runner-up at the Spanish national championships and has shown in the past that she's able to perform well at the Giro. That will give the Australian WorldTour team options on what shapes as a varied course.
"The route for this year’s Giro is much more similar to the route of two and three years ago with a true mixture of stages that can suit all riders," said Spratt. "We have the two hard mountain top finishes that will definitely sort the GC, but everyone knows in the Giro to expect the unexpected so I am sure some of the stages that may look easier on paper will also play a big role.
"The team in any race is so important but in a race like the Giro I have so many great memories from working together so well with my teammates."
Apart from Santesteban and Brown, reigning Australian national road race champion Sarah Roy give the team extra firepower in the hills and on the flat.
The experienced Janneke Ensing comes into the race in strong form, with reigning New Zealand champion Georgia Williams capable of tackling all terrains across the 10 days of racing.