Amanda Spratt gets the double prize in Markina

© Saúl Miguel @ciclismofem

It’s rare to have an entire week without rain in the Basque Country and today it was no exception: pouring rain at the start and the finish made the 2nd stage of the Emakumeen Bira harder than it looked on paper. Orica-Scott took advantage of the situation to get both the stage and the GC jersey with Amanda Spratt. The Aussie attacked together with Ane Santesteban (Alé-Cipollini) in the final kilometres of the stage and managed the tricky last corner better than her Basque rival to get a commanding win.

The race was defined by several breakaway attempts, most of them short-lived, except for the one formed by Charlotte Bravard (FDJ), Soraya Paladin (Alé-Cipollini) and Georgia Williams (Orica-Scott). Chased by a reduced bunch after the San Miguel climb, the escapees were caught around 15 kilometers to the finish. As the group was getting closer to Markina, Spratt and Santesteban saw their opportunity and went for it, quickly opening a big gap, enough for them to fight for the win with a confortable margin.

After today’s rain, the weather forecast is looking sunnier for the next days. It won’t make it any easier though, as every stage will be harder than the previous one.

Full results here.

Tomorrow’s stage will serve as a prelude of what’s about to come: mountains!