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Manly wins and takes Tour cycling lead

Manly wins and takes Tour cycling lead

Alex Manly (R) leads going into the Tour Down Under’s last day after taking stage two on Monday. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS) Alex Manly and her…

Monday, Jan 16

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Alex Manly (R) leads going into the Tour Down Under’s last day after taking stage two on Monday. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS) Alex Manly and her team know a fierce challenge from Amanda Spratt will have a big say in whether she wins the women’s Tour Down Under.

Manly stormed to the overall lead on Monday by winning the second stage at Uraidla in the Adelaide Hills.

The 26-year-old Australian holds an eight-second lead in the overall standings ahead of Tuesday’s third and final stage.

That 93.2km stage from Adelaide to Campbelltown features the tough Corkscrew climb, where Spratt and other rivals are sure to ask stern questions of Manly.

But Manly and her Jayco-AlUla team were outstanding on Monday, with compatriot Ruby Roseman-Gannon in particular setting up the stage win.

Roseman-Gannon played a key role as Spratt, the three-time tour winner and the best-credentialed rider in the field, failed in her bid to blow the race apart.

Spratt (Trek Segafredo) launched a solo attack on the Mt Lofty Climb in the closing kilometres of the undulating 90km stage from Birdwood.Roseman-Gannon was instrumental in closing the gap to Spratt, with the select front group of 16 riders then contesting the stage finish."We wanted both Ruby and Alex up there in the final and I think that the girls set up the race and the final really well," said team director Martin Vestby."It is going to be really hard tomorrow. It would be a lie to not say that Spratty is climbing really well and can put […]

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