Amanda Spratt finished just outside the top ten in eleventh in a rain-soaked elite women’s time trial at the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, England, on Tuesday.
The torrential rain that had earlier caused havoc in the under 23 race, forced a forty-minute delay to the start of the women’s 30.3-kilometre race from Ripon to Harrogate.
The twenty-second of 53 riders to set out on the course, Spratt powered across the longest time trial of her professional career in a time of 46mins 09.09secs.
With the second-fastest time of the day to that point, Spratt found herself in the hot seat and it was a nervous wait to see if she could hold on to the medal position. However, nine riders would better her time to the line pushing her to eleventh overall.
“It was really hard, a challenging course, I think they threw everything at us with the rain, flooding, ups and downs, flats, it had everything to it,” said Spratt. “I hadn’t started my warm-up, so the delay wasn’t too much of a stress for me. And it helped to watch the 23s to see how they took the corners and how the roads were.
“Obviously the 23s had horrendous weather as we did. It was sketchy out there, you had to take a bit of caution, but at the same time, you still wanted to keep the pace as much as you could.”
The time trial continues the recent expansion of the thirty-two-year-old Spratt’s repertoire ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in addition to the looming home Road World Championships in Wollongong in 2022.
“It was a challenge my coach Gene Bates set for me a year and a half ago to put more effort into the time trial, and I accepted that challenge,” said Spratt, who last raced a time trial at a World Championships as a 17-year-old in 2004. “And I am happy with the way it has progressed.
“I can’t sit here and compare myself with everyone else too much. We had a plan, in terms of power and how I wanted to pace it so in terms of the plan, we have to be happy with that.
“I gave everything I could out there.”
Spratt also revealed encouragement from her Mitchelton-Scott teammate Annemiek van Vleuten, a two-time time trial world champion, has inspired her in her return to the time trial.
“She really started focusing on that only three or four years ago, and look where she is now, and I really draw inspiration on that,” Spratt said adding. “For me, it is a long term project. I was excited to get here and have my first time trial race and I hope to improve on that.”
“I think this is something that you have to put the time and effort into. It doesn’t happen overnight and I am willing to put that effort into it.”
In one of the most stunning performances ever seen at a Road World Championships, Chloé Dygert Owen (USA) became the youngest person to win a road time trial world title after obliterating the course and her rivals to win by 1 minute and 32 seconds over two-time defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) and Anna van der Breggen (NED).
Liam Magennis gives it everything in U23 TT
Earlier in utterly treacherous conditions, Liam Magennis (Drapac-Cannondale Holistic Development Team) finished 29th in the under 23 men’s time trial at the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire.
Persistent rain throughout the night and early morning meant the race became a battle not just to the Harrogate finish line, but to stay upright. Riders were forced to negotiate a number of puddles, including one which stretched the width of the road, with many crashing when navigating through the ankle-deep water.
Reigning Oceania and National champion Magennis delivered a superb effort and remain unscathed across the 30.3km course, clocking a time of 43mins 11.03seconds.
In what he described as the toughest, and wettest time trial of his career, Magennis later admitted the tricky conditions almost got the better of him.
“I started off pretty well until I got to the puddles across the road in the first ten kilometres,” said Magennis. “They slowed me down and put me on edge a little.
“But I tried my best out there. Kept it upright so I’m happy.
“I’m happy to be in one piece and look forward to Friday now.”
Magennis will now have a few days to dry out and recover ahead of Friday’s Under 23 road race where he will team with Kaden Groves (SEG Racing Academy), Samuel Jenner (Team Wiggins Le Col), Harry Sweeny (EvoPro Racing), Nicholas White (Team BridgeLane).
The event was won by Dane Mikkel Bjerg who powered to an extraordinary third straight rainbow jersey.