Brown wraps up Vuelta a Burgos Feminas with 7th overall & a stage win with Spratt going on the offensive for 10th on the final Queen stage – Team BikeExchange

Team BikeExchange wrapped up the four-day Vuelta a Burgos Feminas today with stage one winner Grace Brown taking seventh place overall, after a strong ride on today’s Queen stage summit finish in Lagunas de Neilas where she climbed to ninth position. Teammate Amanda Spratt showed her cards, riding on the offensive all day by jumping in to a large breakaway, before attacking up the final ascent and eventually claiming a respectable 10th place after a huge effort throughout the 121km stage.

The day began with a rapid pace with the peloton not allowing any breakaway groups to form. Eventually, a large group of 30 riders was given freedom with Spratt and Georgia Williams represented in the move for Team BikeExchange. 

The gap opened up to over one minute 40 seconds with Spratt winning the first GPM sprint before the group reduced to 14 riders on the approach to the final ascent to Lagunas de Neilas. Spratt then went on the attack, taking with her one Movistar rider, before being joined by two more riders as they passed the 4km to go mark.

The race then suddenly lit up, with a surge from behind as the GC favourites quickly charged towards the leaders as they began the climb. By the time they started the final two kilometres, the quartet were swallowed up and only a trio of Anna van der Breggen, Annemiek van Vleuten and Demi Vollering remained at the head of affairs as the road gradient increased.

Behind, Brown and Spratt fought hard all the way to the line to finish the brutal stage in ninth and tenth position respectively, securing a top-10 placing overall and a stage win, which concludes a successful four-days of racing for the squad.

Amanda Spratt
“I was so disappointed with yesterday and I knew I had to refocus and come out today and have a good ride. The girls were so amazing at the start, especially Sarah Roy and Georgia Williams, and I was able to sneak into that move and really thanks to Georgia. She killed herself for me and we knew that I had a good chance in that group as one of the strongest climbers.

I just had to be patient and I attacked on the second to last climb and then again on the last climb a few times to try and shake the others. Maybe I was a little too keen at the start with the hard final, but honestly I’m really happy with my ride and it’s nice to be a part of the race again. It was great to take a stage win with Grace here and she’s also finished 7th on GC.”

Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director 
“It wasn’t really planned, but we ended up with a group of over 25 riders going away and Spratty was in there and it was a really good move for us and we had Georgia there to support. 

We took the opportunity, it was an opportunity that came and in the end it came up a couple of kilometres short, but it was a really good move.

I think the whole race has been pretty positive, we came with two goals, to get a stage win and get a good general classification position, and we got a stage on day one with Grace and a good general classification result, so all the boxes are ticked.”

2021 Vuelta a Burgos Feminas – Stage 4 Results:
1. Anna van der Breggen 3:24:15 
2. Annemiek van Vleuten ST
3. Demi Vollering +0:20
9. Grace Brown (Team BikeExchange) +1:09
10. Amanda Spratt (Team BikeExchange) +1:17

Final General Classification:
1. Anna van der Breggen 11:23:55
2. Annemiek van Vleuten +0:03
3. Demi Vollering +0:23
7. Grace Brown (Team BikeExchange) +1:07

Photo Courtesy of Getty Sport.

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Spratt bolsters Team BikeExchange squad for hilly GP Eibar and Durango-Durango – Team BikeExchange

Team BikeExchange women continue racing in northern Spain with Australian climber Amanda Spratt joining the squad, adding climbing strength and depth for two hilly one-day races, GP Eibar and Durango-Durango, on Sunday 16th and Tuesday 18th May respectively.

Alongside Spratt will be local Basque climber Ane Santesteban, plus in-form Janneke Ensing giving the team plenty of options. The trio will be backed up by a strong supporting base with recent Setmana Ciclista Valenciana stage winner Urška Žigart, Italian sprinter Arianna Fidanza and Dutch domestique Moniek Tenniglo.

The first race, GP Eibar is one for the pure climbers, finishing up the hard Arrate climb which is often used in the men’s Vuelta Basque Country and Vuelta a España. Tuesday’s Durango-Durango also features plenty of climbs with the squad returning as defending champions, following on from Lucy Kennedy’s win in 2019 and Annemiek van Vleuten’s triumph in 2020.

Team BikeExchange at GP Eibar (16th) & Durango-Durango (18th):
Janneke Ensing (NED) 
Arianna Fidanza (ITA)
Ane Santesteban (ESP)
Amanda Spratt (AUS)
Moniek Tenniglo (NED) 
Urška Žigart (SLO)

Amanda Spratt
“This will be my first-time racing Eibar and also up the Arrate climb. It will be special to race up such an iconic climb steeped in so much cycling history. I already watched this year’s Basque Country, the stage when the men finished up the Arrate climb, so it was good to get an idea of how it is.

Being in the Basque Country, this race is of course a huge goal for Ane Santesteban so I’m looking forward to racing together with Ane and the whole team. I am sure we can carry good momentum and vibes from the previous races into this one.

I am feeling good and recovered after the Ardennes. I needed to take some easy days after being sick but I’m feeling good now. I always love racing in Spain.”

Ane Santesteban
“I know the race Eibar really well. I have raced lot of times in this area when I was younger, it’s like my home race and I am looking for it. Arrate is a tough but really special climb, and I am really happy that also our race finishes in the top there. 

It’s easy to race with Spratty. We understand each other really well in the races and she is strong and really smart, I think we can do really well.

In Valencia we raced aggressively and tried something with everybody. All the riders we were supporting our leaders in the previous races so it’s also nice to change the mindset and go for it, all have our own opportunities to race aggressively and in these next races will be a little bit the same, so I hope it ends with a victory.”

Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director
“For GP Eibar and Durango-Durango we are adding strength to the team with Spratty coming in and we have seen Ane Santesteban and Janneke Ensing both showing good form in the recent races, so they will both get their chances as well.

Both races are hilly with Eibar finishing up a hard climb in Arrate and that should suit are team quite well.”

2021 Race Details:
Sunday, 16th May: GP Eibar, 117km
Tuesday, 18th May: Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria, 115.7km 

Photo courtesy of Getty Sport

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com