Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo Women) took her first GC win since 2017 with victory at the Women’s Santos Tour Down Under.
The 26 year old American, born in Keighly, Yorkshire, took the four-stage race by five seconds over Liane Lippert (Team Sunweb) with new Aussie Champion Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) just a second adrift.
Winder, who is also the American National Champion, went into the final Adelaide stage as race leader after giving Trek-Seagfredo its first 2020 win on stage three (Nairne to Stirling, 109.1km).
It was anything but a parade, and team nerves were left jangling when Lippert took two bonus seconds at the first intermediate sprint to pare Winder’s advantage to just four seconds. The team responded by taking back seconds with the next two sprints. There was still a big threat ahead when a large group gained 30 seconds and placed Lauren Stephens (Team TIBCO – SVB) in the virtual lead.
“I felt a lot of nerves before the race but during the race I just felt excited to try and do it. I knew I had a really strong team leading me out so I just had to try and finish it off. We were happy to let the breakaway go specially because Liane (Lippert) was sprinting really well,” said Winder.
The race was a wholly satisfactory outing for the American squad with two second place podiums courtesy of Lotta Henttala on Stage one behind Chloe Hosking (Rally Cycling Women) on Stage 1 and Winder behind Spratt on Stage 2, plus a stage win in Stirling by the US Champion which ultimately set up the overall win.
Santos Tour Down Under Official Video of Stage 4 (courtesy of Tour Down Under)