Olympic road cycling gold medal hope Amanda Spratt has a warning for her Tour Down Under rivals.
The newly-crowned national road race champion says she's in the form of her life as she prepares to seek a fourth consecutive overall victory in the tour, starting Thursday.
Spratt benefited from a perfectly-executed Mitchelton-Scott race plan to claim a third Australian road race title on Sunday and believes that teamwork can translate into further success this week.
The powerful Mitchelton-Scott outfit has won every edition of the women's tour, starting with Katrin Garfoot's triumph in 2016.
Spratt has claimed the three subsequent crowns.
But the 32-year-old faces stiff competition for overall honours this year from the likes of teen sensation Sarah Gigante (Tibco-SVB), Rachel Neylan (UniSa-Australia) and Shara Gillow (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope).
Six of the eight top-tier WorldTeams will be on the start line when the Tour opens with a 116.3km trek through the Adelaide Hills on Thursday.
The event finishes with a 42.5km dash through a tight Adelaide CBD street circuit on Sunday.
"I've just been stepping up and up every year and it will be incredible to wear the (green and gold) jersey again," Spratt said.
"We have a really strong team. I think Grace Brown's in great form, Lucy Kennedy also.
"It's quite a dynamic course there and we've got a much more international field than previous years, as well, so it's going to be a tough ask.
"But it's another Aussie race, I love the Aussie summer and I love the crowd that's here to come out and support the races.
"It's always a really special part of it as an athlete to see the support that we have."
Spratt endured disruption to her preparation for the 2020 season when she was forced to leave her training base in the NSW Blue Mountains earlier than planned last month because of nearby bushfires.
But she is firmly back on track ahead of the Tour, which is another stepping stone towards the major target of her 2020 campaign.
Spratt has made the Tokyo Olympics road race her long-term focus after taking bronze at the world championships last September.
"We've had a plan that we've been sticking to and it's been working pretty well, so we're not changing anything," Spratt said.
"The road race (in Tokyo) will be the big goal.
"That's the one I'll be racing and I believe we can win Olympic gold with the women's road team, so that's what we're aiming for."
Australian Associated Press