The 90km of Santos Tour Down Under stage two were packed with 1631m of elevation gain. From the start, riders were launching attacks. Manly picked up two seconds on the intermediate sprint, but no rider could get away from the bunch. On the final climb, 6.1km up Mount Lofty, a small group accelerated including Manly and teammate Ruby Roseman-Gannon. Another rider attempted a solo escape, but was caught within the final kilometer. Manly came around the final corner in the lead and didn’t let up her pace to score the win. Roseman-Gannon finished fourth.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better stage to win, these are my local roads,” said Manly. “To be in the race lead now, it is a dream come true, there’s not another race, other than the Tour de France that I really want to be in the lead, it means a lot to me.”
With Manly’s knowledge of the local roads, she is prepared to attempt to stay in the leader’s jersey on the final stage of the race. But, with many heavy contenders within seconds of the lead, it will not be an easy task. The race is expected to be won on the final climb of the day. The Corkscrew, at 2.3km has an average gradient of 9.2 percent and a maximum of 24.4 percent.