Australian takes TDU lead after Adelaide Hills win

Australian cycling star Alex Manly has stormed to the overall lead in the women’s Tour Down Under by winning the second stage.

Jan 16, 2023, updated Jan 17, 2023
Alex Manly takes the victory in Uraidla today.  Photo: AAP/Matt Turner

Alex Manly takes the victory in Uraidla today. Photo: AAP/Matt Turner

The world road championships mixed relay bronze medallist and Commonwealth Games team member won the reduced bunch sprint on Monday at Uraidla in the Adelaide Hills.

That also gives the Jayco-AlUla rider an eight-second lead in the general classification ahead of Tuesday’s third and final stage.

Key rival Amanda Spratt (Trek Segrafredo) launched a solo attack on the Mt Lofty climb with 11km left in the undulating 90km stage from Birdwood.

But the front group caught the three-time Tour Down Under champion inside the last kilometre.

Manly led out the lead pack through the last corner with about 250m left and she powered to the finish ahead of New Zealand’s Georgia Williams (EF Education-TIBCO), with Dutch rider Nina Buijsman (Human Powered Health) third.

Spratt and fellow Australian Grace Brown (FDJ-Suez) also finished in the front group, keeping Manly’s two biggest rivals for the overall title within striking distance ahead of Tuesday’s finale.

Williams is second overall, with Brown third, both eight seconds behind Manly.

Jayco-AlUla are well-placed, with Manly’s teammate Ruby Roseman-Gannon fourth overall at 13 seconds, followed by Spratt at 14 seconds.

Stage one winner and overnight race leader Daria Pikulik lost contact with the front group on Monday, long before the finish.

British rider Claire Steels (Israel Premier Tech) launched an impressive solo attack inside the last 25km but was caught well before the finish and ended the stage in 23rd place.

The race ends on Tuesday with a 93.2km stage from Adelaide to Campbelltown, featuring the tough Corkscrew climb.

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But there is a downhill run from Corkscrew to the stage finish, meaning Manly will have a chance to minimise any time losses if she is dropped on that hill.

Manly had a banner season last year, winning four stages of the Thuringen Tour in Germany as well as the overall title.

She was part of the mixed relay team that won bronze at the road worlds in Wollongong and played her role as outstanding tactics from the Australians set up Georgia Baker for the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games road race.


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