Australia’s Amanda Spratt soloed the final 40km to claim a stunning silver in the women’s road race the 2018 UCI Road World Championships in Austria.
Reigning Olympic champion Anna Van der Breggen (Netherlands) soloed the final 39 kilometres of the race to to claim one of the most dominant victories ever seen at a World Championships. She finished over three minutes ahead of Spratt, with former world champion Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) taking bronze.
“I honestly I think I can be really proud with the silver medal. It caps off a great season for me,” said Spratt, who became just the sixth Australian woman in sixty years to reach the World Championships' road race podium.
Spratt, Grace Brown, Brodie Chapman, Tiffany Cromwell, Shara Gillow, Lucy Kennedy and Sarah Roy, were among the 149 starters to set out on the 156km course which featured an 85km loop before three punishing laps of a 24km circuit with 2400m of vertical climbing.
Spratt was caught up in a early crash but recovered and with the help of team mate Kennedy, was able to remain at the front of the race and in touch of the pre race favourite Dutch team and form part of the crucial breakaway.
On the penultimate lap, Van der Breggen launched herself from the main field to join Spratt's group, and despite her best efforts, Spratt was unable to keep the wheel of the Dutchwoman.
Van der Breggen soloed to the biggest winning margin in thirty years (3mins 42secs), while Spratt powered the final 40km home on her own to finish two minutes ahead of Guderzo.
“It was a tough race out there, the whole team did an incredible job throughout the first stage to get me fresh to the final,” said Spratt, whose season has included victory at the Santos Women's Tour Down Under and Emakumeen Bira, a stage win at the Giro Rosa and podiums at Amstel Gold and at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
“That meant I could get into that break before the second last climb where I knew the Dutch would attack. I was waiting for that move.
“Anna came across so quickly, I really tried to hold her wheel up that climb. She was honestly on another level today, she really deserves that title.”
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