Tour winner Grace Brown with NRS leader Shannon Malseed. Copyright: Caitlin Johnston/Caity J Photography

The Mersey Valley tour concluded on Sunday with a 76.4 kilometre road race around Railton and just like she did in Stage 2, Lucy Kennedy (High5 Dream Team) took her second stage victory ahead of overall winner Grace Brown (Holden Women’s Cycling). NRS leader Shannon Malseed (Holden Women’s Cycling) finished third, 34 seconds back.

After crashing on stage 1, Oceania time trial champion Kennedy was ecstatic to pick up two stage victories.

“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.”

Grace Brown had a 50 second lead heading into the final stage and just needed to stay attentive to win, which she accomplished, claiming her first NRS 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.”

Local rider, Madeleine Fasnacht was in brilliant form finishing fourth on the stage and 4th overall securing the Under 19 young rider’s jersey. The teenage rider, who represented Australia at the junior world race 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.”

Overall NRS leader, Shannon Malseed was happy with how the weekend panned out.

“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.”

The NRS resumes in August with the Tour of the King Valley.