Amanda Spratt’s shocking luck continues, with the Australian cycling star forced to withdraw from the Tour de France Femmes because of injury.
Her latest setback after a crash in stage two comes as a media report stunningly claimed Spratt would leave BikeExchange-Jayco, her only professional team, at the end of the of the season.
Spratt was one of the casualties in the crash chaos that marked the end of Monday’s second stage and she lost nearly 10 minutes.
“Not how I imagined my TdF ending,” Spratt tweeted.
“Feels like one thing after another at the moment. I finished the stage after a crash and hard impact, but woke up not being able to move well or breathe properly. I need time to recover now.”
Spratt also hit the deck during stage one in Paris.
Earlier this month she was in the top 10 overall at the Giro d’Italia Donne, another major race, when COVID-19 forced her out.
Also, Spratt is returning to top form after major surgery late last year to fix Iliac artery endofibrosis, a condition that has afflicted several professional cyclists.
“Luckily, no broken bones, but with the pain she’s in and the lack of movement, she’s not capable of going on the bike today,” team director Martin Vestby said.
“That’s sad for Spratty, she’s had a lot of bad luck lately and this comes on top of it, in the biggest race of the season.”
Separately, Spratt’s management declined to comment on the report on her future, from respected cycling media website VeloNews.
It would be a stunning development if true, given the 34-year-old’s loyalty to the squad.
A BikeExchange-Jayco spokesman said they are unaware of her plans.
The story emerged only a day after team owner, prominent Australian sports benefactor Gerry Ryan, confirmed he would continue supporting BikeExchange-Jayco for another three years.
“Gerry has put everything into this team – I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support he’s given,” Spratt said on Sunday at the opening stage of the Tour de France Femmes.
Spratt turned professional when the team, then known as GreenEDGE, started in 2012.
She has become one of the top competitors in the women’s peloton and is one of the all-time greats of Australian cycling.
Her career features two podium finishes at the world road championships and three wins at Adelaide’s Tour Down Under, as well as three national road titles.
Spratt is a mainstay of Australian teams, competing at the last three Olympics.
She opted out of making herself available for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games because of her competition schedule, but also because the road race course did not suit her climbing strengths.
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