Grace Brown wins first Tour Down Under title

Australian cycling star Grace Brown has won the women’s Tour Down Under, beating key rival Amanda Spratt to also win the third and final stage.

Jan 17, 2023, updated Jan 17, 2023
Grace Brown of FDJ Suez wins stage three of the Tour Down Under in Adelaide today. Photo: AAP/Matt Turner

Grace Brown of FDJ Suez wins stage three of the Tour Down Under in Adelaide today. Photo: AAP/Matt Turner

Brown outsprinted Spratt to win the 93.2km third stage from Adelaide to Campbelltown on Tuesday afternoon after catching her fellow Australian in the last few kilometres.

That gave Brown the overall title at the Santos Tour for the first time, 10 seconds ahead of Spratt, the three-time race winner.

As expected, the stage – and the race – came down to the steep Corkscrew climb in the Adelaide Hills, just over 11km from the finish.

Spratt’s Trek-Segafredo team rode superbly, with first Lauretta Hanson and then newly crowned Australian champion Brodie Chapman setting a fierce tempo early on the climb.

A select front group formed and overnight leader Alex Manly (Jayco-AlUla) was quickly in trouble, with Chapman leading Spratt at the front.

Spratt then went on the attack by herself and only Brown could respond.

Brown’s FDJ-Suez teammates had put her in a strong position and she was able to limit her losses to Spratt on Corkscrew.

At the top of the climb, with less than 8km left to the finish, Spratt led Brown by 19 seconds for the high-speed run to the line.

But Brown, who took silver in the time trial at last year’s world road championships, unleashed her formidable power to reel in her rival.

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Once she caught Spratt, the stage and overall title were Brown’s to lose.

Brown was third overall, six seconds behind Manly, going into the final stage, while Spratt had started the day fifth at 14 seconds.


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