Emily Watts takes the stage win and young riders jersey in a sprint finish

Posted on January 24, 2022 by

Taking to the curtain opener of the 2022 Southern Hemisphere racing season, NSW Institute of Sport scholar Emily Watts has claimed the first stage of the 2022 Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide, South Australia.

Emily, the 2021 under 23 National Road and Time Trial champion, was ecstatic with the stage win while teammate Georgie Howe earned the Queen of the Mountain jersey.

The stage win – one of her biggest career wins following the 2021 nationals, was earned as her team safely executed their game plan while several other riders crashed during the wet and gruelling, yet picturesque 85.4km course.

“There were a few nervous riders since the nationals (titles last week),” she said. “The rain added to a little bit of scary riding out there.

“Our team played our cards right, with good positioning, staying together and staying safe.

“We had a race plan releasing Georgie Howe up the line (near the finish), that’s how she got the Queen of the Mountain jersey and we came together which wasn’t the plan.

“We wanted Georgie to go to the line.

“I’m not a sprinter so I didn’t get any (bonus) points but I’m also happy with the young rider’s jersey and it’s been a goal to get a national road series win here.”

The women’s stage 2 racing kicks off at 11am Monday 24 January, starting on the grounds of Penny’s Hill Wines in McLaren Vale before finishing in Echunga.

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