Mersey Valley Tour Yellow for Brown as Kennedy triumphs in Railton
Grace Brown (Holden Women's Racing) claimed her maiden Subaru National Road Series tour victory at the Mersey Valley Tour while team mate Shannon Malseed retained overall 2017 series lead.
Photos Caitlin Johnston/Caity J Photography - Stage 3 | Stage 2 | Stage 1
Stage 3 & Tour recap
She may have been beaten in the final sprint, but nothing could wipe the smile from Holden Women Cycling Team’s Grace Brown after she won the 2017 Mersey Valley Tour on Sunday. Stage 1 Recap | Stage 2 Recap.
While a confident ride during the 76.4-kilometre road race around Railton ensured that her yellow jersey was never in doubt, 24-year-old Brown even had the energy for an attack on the final climb.
Despite being edged by Lucy Kennedy (High5 Dream Team) for line honours, Brown was ecstatic to have finished second and won her first-ever Subaru National Road Series tour.
“I have improved so much over the past year,” said Brown, who made her debut at the 2016 Mersey Valley Tour. “Each race has just been better and better. It is awesome to get the win at one of the toughest stops on the calendar.”
Oceania time trial champion Kennedy collected her second stage win in as many days, while Brown’s team-mate Shannon Malseed rounded out the podium. After crashing on Friday, Kennedy was pleased to end the Tour with dual stage triumphs.
“It was a pretty dramatic stage,” she explained. “I had a crash after the first climb, and was feeling pretty sorry for myself after landing on the same side that I hurt [on stage one]. If anything the crash fired me up even more to win.”
Tasmanian local Madeleine Fasnacht was again in strong form, finishing fourth on the stage to secure the young rider’s jersey and fourth overall. The teenage rider, who represented Australia at the junior world road championships in Doha last year, looks set to be the latest Tasmanian youth product to excel at the highest level.
“I am really happy with how the weekend panned out,” said Fasnacht. “I was pleased with my time trial, and then it is great to back it up with two strong climbing stages. It means a lot to do well at my home tour.”
The Subaru National Road Series takes a short break over the winter months, before recommencing in August with the Tour of the King Valley. After finishing second at the Mersey Valley Tour, Holden’s Malseed heads into the hiatus with the overall series lead.
“I’m really proud of myself for keeping the overall leader’s jersey on my shoulders, and proud of the team for a fantastic Tour,” said Malseed. “Our main objectives coming into these tours is the general classification, and to retain the overall series lead is a big bonus.”
Stage winner Kennedy finished the Tour with the climber’s jersey, while High5 Dream Team narrowly beat Holden Women's Cycling Team to the teams’ general classification win.
The organisers of the Mersey Valley Tour acknowledge the support of the Devonport City Council, Central Coast Council and Kentish Council.
0.00-0.08: Stage 3 of the Mersey Valley Tour begins
0.09-0.23: Scenic shot of the peloton
0.24-0.38: Kate Perry (Specialized Women's Racing) attacks with a solo breakaway
0.39-0.51: Perry is joined by RoxsoltAttaquer rider
0.52-1.16: Scenic shot of peloton
1.17-1.34: Lucy Kennedy (High5 Dream Team) attacks on final climb with Grace Brown (Holden Women's Cycling
1.35-1.45: Finish shot - Kennedy wins, Brown in second
1.46-1.53: Second bunch sprint for third, won by Shannon Malseed
1.54-2.11: Kennedy interview
2.12-2.20: Tour winner Brown in yellow jersey
Results See here