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Tour Down Under 2023: Grace Brown wins Tour Down Under, overall standings, results read full article at worldnews365.me










Australia’s Grace Brown surged home to overhaul compatriot Amanda Spratt at the finish of the third stage and win the women’s Tour Down Under on Tuesday in scorching conditions.

Brown, the world time trial silver medallist, reeled in three-time TDU winner Spratt on the seven-kilometre (4.3-mile) descent off the punishing Corkscrew climb to claim the final stage and become the first World Tour winner of the event.

Spratt, who was bidding to add to her 2017-19 TDU wins, held a 20-second gap over Brown after a draining climb up the brutal 24.5 per cent gradient of the Corkscrew.

But she couldn’t hold off the sprinter Brown in the downhill dash to the finish line outside Adelaide.

“I am really pleased. The team did an awesome job today,” Brown said. “They led me out into the final climb and I knew Amanda was going to be really good on the Corkscrew.

“But I just kept her within distance, knowing that I could potentially catch her on the descent, and was able to do it.” Brown, leading the French FDJ-Suez team, won the general classification by 10 seconds from Spratt (Trek-Segafredo) with New Zealand’s Georgia Williams (EF Education-Tibco-SVB) on 19 seconds.

Spratt, fighting back from a condition which narrows the artery and restricts blood flow to the legs, was rated the one to beat in the gruelling final stage because of her hill-climbing reputation.

And Spratt, who trailed Brown by six seconds going into the final day, looked on course to win the stage and take the ochre leader’s jersey with her commanding lead at the top of the Corkscrew.

But she succumbed to Brown’s superior sprinting qualities.

“We sure are making women’s cycling exciting, aren’t we?” Spratt said. “I don’t have many regrets. My team rode amazingly well, we had a plan, they positioned me perfectly for the Corkscrew and I attacked it the way I wanted.

“It’s never nice when you know that Grace Brown is chasing you on a downhill like that, I was hoping I would get there, but she was too strong at the finish.” Overnight race leader Alexandra Manly (Team Jayco-AlUla) dropped well back on the unforgiving climb and finished 40 seconds behind to lose her chance of making the final race.

STAGE 3 RESULTS

1. Grace Brown (AUS/FDJ-Suez) 2hr 37min 11sec

2. Amanda Spratt (AUS/Trek-Segafredo) at 0sec

3. Georgia Williams (NZL/EF Education-Tibco-SVB) 13sec

4. Danielle De Francesco (AUS/Zaaf Cycling Team)

5. Ruby Roseman-Gannon (AUS/Team Jayco-AlUla)

FINAL OVERALL STANDINGS

1.Grace Brown (AUS/FDJ-Suez) 8hr 3min 29sec

2. Amanda Spratt (AUS/Trek-Segafredo) at 10sec

3. Georgia Williams (NZL/EF Education-Tibco-SVB) 19sec

4. Ruby Roseman-Gannon (AUS/Team Jayco-AlUla) 28sec

5. Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA/EF Education-Tibco-SVB) 29sec

MANLY TAKES DOWN THREE-TIME CHAMP IN ‘BRUTAL’ FINISH

AFP

Australia’s Alexandra Manly (Team Jayco-AlUla) overhauled solo breakaway Amanda Spratt to take the hilly stage two and claim the ochre leader’s jersey in the women’s Tour Down Under on Monday.

Three-time TDU winner Spratt (Trek-Segafredo) attempted to steal the stage with a lung-busting attack up Mount Lofty 10 kilometres from the finish of the 90km Birdwood to Uraidla leg in the opening World Tour event of the season in scorching temperatures.

But Manly reeled in Spratt in a sprint finish ahead of New Zealand’s Georgia Williams (EF Education-Tibco-SVB) and Dutch rider Nina Buijsman (Human Powered Health).

Manly will take an eight-second lead over Williams for her home-based team into Tuesday’s third and final Adelaide to Campbelltown stage over 93.2kms, featuring the demanding slopes of the ‘Corkscrew’.

“I was perfectly looked after by my team all day, and I am just so thankful to do this in my own backyard,” Manly said.

“I know that part of the road is always painful even when you go on a training ride so I was just making sure I had the momentum and, of course, Spratty was going to take the opportunity to attack.

“I don’t have the same legs as Spratty on the climb so me being there forced the others to chase a bit and eventually I used the descent to try and bridge back some time.”

Manly, 26, took four stage wins last year and the overall title at the Internationale LOTTO Thuringen Ladies Tour along with her first World Tour victory at the Tour of Scandinavia.

Spratt, one of the leading contenders for this year’s TDU, powered up Mt Lofty trying to pinch a winning break but was just unable to hold on to finish 10th in the stage and lie 14 seconds behind Manly heading into the final stage.

“It’s brutal, but that’s sport. I got a really good gap and felt great on the climb,” noted hill-climber Spratt said.

“It was fun being able to attack like that again, I haven’t been able to do that in a few years, so I will take a lot of confidence out of that.

“I’ve got one more day to chase that leader’s jersey now.”

Compatriot Grace Brown, leading the French FDJ-Suez team, is another well in contention after her fifth-place finish to be third overall, eight seconds down.

STAGE 2 RESULTS

1. Alexandra Manly (AUS/Team Jayco-AlUla) 2hr 23min 33sec

2. Georgia Williams (NZL/EF Education-Tibco-SVB) at 0sec

3. Nina Buijsman (NED/Human Powered Health)

4. Danielle De Francesco (AUS/Zaaf Cycling Team)

5. Grace Brown (AUS/FDJ-Suez)

OVERALL STANDINGS

1. Alexandra Manly (AUS/Team Jayco-AlUla) 5hr 26min 20sec

2. Georgia Williams (NZL/EF Education-Tibco-SVB) at 8sec

3. Grace Brown (AUS/FDJ-SUEZ)

4. Ruby Roseman-Gannon (AUS/Team Jayco-AlUla) 13sec

5. Amanda Spratt (AUS/Trek-Segafredo) 14sec

WOMEN’S STAGE 1: Pikulik powers through first win

Poland’s Daria Pikulik rode powerfully in a bunch sprint finish to claim the first stage of Australia’s Women’s Tour Down Under outside Adelaide on Sunday.

Pikulik (Human Powered Health) surged through an opening for her first World Tour stage win from France’s Clara Copponi (FDJ-Suez) and Australia’s Georgia Baker (Team Jayco-AlUla) at the end of the 110.4-kilometre Glenelg to Aldinga stage.

“I didn’t expect to win today, this is my first World Tour race and my first race with my new team,” Pikulik said.

“I can’t believe I win today. I’m just a Polish girl making the dream come true.” With time bonuses Pikulik will take the leader’s jersey into Monday’s more hilly 90-km second stage from Birdwood to Uraidla.

“Daria Pikulik is our triple podium star,” her team tweeted. “Stage victory, Leader’s jersey, Sprints jersey. Not a bad return for your first road race in #HumanPoweredHealth colours.”

The three-stage Women’s TDU now forms part of the UCI World Tour, with points on offer.

Pikulik, predominantly a track rider, used her powerful sprint finish to take the stage after the peloton reeled in a two-strong breakaway comprising Australians Isabelle Carnes (Ara Skip Capital) and Gina Ricardo (Team Bridgelane) with 10km to the finish line.

Leading Australian contender Amanda Spratt, who has won the TDU for three consecutive years (2017-2019) finished fifth in the opening stage for her Trek-Segafredo team.

Spratt lies eighth overall, 10 seconds down going into the second stage. Another prominent local contender, Grace Brown, leading the French FDJ-Suez team, is fourth overall after the first stage, seven seconds down on the leader.

After Baker’s third-place finish, her Team Jayco AlUla tweeted: “A big effort on a hard and windy day, the squad back Baker for the finish and she rounds out the podium with 3rd on what was a fast and frantic dash to the line.”

Aussie sprint star claims stunning victory in Schwalbe Classic

– Val Migliaccio

Australian sprint superstar Caleb Ewan claimed the Schwalbe Classic in a front of a raucous city crowd on Saturday night.

The 28-year-old was roared over the Flinders Street finish line an hour, two minutes and 37 seconds after the start gun was fired before the official Santos Tour Down Under WorldTour race season starts.

Ewan, a nine-time Tour Down under stage winner, used his incredible power to rise to the top of the peloton ahead of some of the finest bike riders the Tour Down Under has seen since its inception in 1999.

With Ewan lapping up the win, Australia’s Grand Tour winner Jai Hindley stayed out of trouble in a race tailor-made for sprint guns.

Hindley’s incredible Giro D’Italia 2022 win has seen the Australian superstar remain ice cool ahead of the new 2023 UCI WorldTour season.

The West Australian is just the second Australian to win a Grand Tour in more than 100 years of the toughest stage racing on the planet after Cadel Evans claimed the Tour de France title in 2011.

“Last time I was at the TDU (Tour Down Under) I wasn’t at the press conference,’’ Hindley said with tongue in cheek.

“I’ll put it to you like that, same old, and the Aussie crowd and all the fans, I don’t buy into it, I have my own ambitions.”

Hindley last raced at the Tour Down Under WorldTour in 2020 under the wing of Team Sunweb and the watch of South Australia’s Luke Roberts.

Hindley during the height of Covid in 2020 just missed out on GC at the Giro D’Italia.

He finished 18th overall at the Tour Down Under in 2020 and 2019 after making his debut at the event for UniSA where he finished 25th in 2017.

Bora-hansgrohe’s Hindley is the absolute Australian men’s standout for the WorldTour race which starts with a prologue for the first time in race history on Tuesday night.

The winner of the time trial at the Adelaide Riverbank will also win and wear the ochre leader’s jersey for the Ziptrak Stage 1 Tanunda to Tanunda on Wednesday.

Race director Stuart O’Grady’s WorldTour debut will come to fruition after the two-time Tour Down Under champion has attracted arguably the most exciting peloton in the history of the race.

Hindley, 26, leads the Australian pack, followed by super Grand Tour champions Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, and slick Australian gun Michael Matthews.

O’Grady was stoked by the presence of some of the biggest names in world cycling in Adelaide in 2023.

“I’d like to think the guys are happy to be here,’’ O’Grady said.

“I know personally how important it is to be in Adelaide for the racing to get that build up that makes it easier for you for the rest of the season.

“I found that out for myself (as a professional rider).

“And I’m privileged and proud to be sitting up with them and very, very grateful, that they have made a commitment to be here.”

KIWI CLAIMS HISTORIC VICTORY IN WOMEN’S SCHWALBE CLASSIC

Ally Wollastan from Team New Zealand claimed the women’s Schwalbe Classic on the eve of the historic maiden women’s Santos Tour Down Under WorldTour on Monday.

Wollastan, 22, raced to victory in a bunch sprint finish on Flinders Street on the city street circuit on Saturday night.

The day’s scorching 38C temperature was met with strong southerly winds in the early evening which favoured attacks as Wollastan – after a second place in New Zealand’s 2022 national road titles – was too strong over the line.

Jayco UlULa’s Georgie Howe led from the front early in the race in a snapshot of what’s in store for fans in the Ziptrak Stage 1 from Glenelg to Aldinga from 11.30am on Monday.

The crit racing seemingly pleased Santos Tour Down Under assistant race director Annette Edmondson.

“We have been very hungry to get back racing, we’re ready to get involved in the WorldTour peloton, a major moment for Australian cycling,” Edmondson said.

She was ecstatic on the eve of the Tour Down Under making its UCI WorldTour debut to open the 2023 season across the globe.

Seven years after Edmondson featured at the UCI’s 2.2 event before women would receive the same prize money as the men’s WorldTour stars in SA in 2018, the race was last year upgraded to the highest-level professional racing on the planet for the first time.

Edmondson and fellow assistant Tour Down Under race director Carlee Taylor are expected to have an extremely busy and enjoyable three days of first-class racing joining race director Stuart O’Grady.

Stage 2 features Birdwood to Uraidla.

The Let’s Go stage 3 leaves from the Torrens Footbridge in the city before culminating with a fast finish on the Montacute Road, Campbelltown finish line.

And current Australian national road champion Brodie Chapman is confident in her teammates’ ability to challenge for major prizes during the three-stage race as she prepares for another blast of scorching 38C on Tuesday.

“With the heat, it’s about monitoring yourself, I’d like to think it’s like racing at altitude,’’ Chapman said.

“We’ve got a team of experts helping us out.”

“I like to pre-cool as much as possible, take a cold shower before I go out riding, try to drink all my liquid calories, wet the body, and get out of the sun as soon as possible.”

And wearing the road champion national colours at the WorldTour for the entire season for the first time in her career is monumental for the climbing specialist.

“It’s definitely as special as you would imagine wearing the national champion jersey,’’ Chapman said.

“The jersey itself is not always a thing that’s guaranteed in your career and to be able to race at the Tour Down Under and the first race here after Covid, it’s very special and it’s not lost on me.”

Originally published as Tour Down Under 2023: Grace Brown wins women’s TDU

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