Hobart's Madeleine Fasnacht claims fourth place in the Mersey Valley Cycling Tour

PROCESSION: The peloton winds its way around Railton on the final stage of the women's national road series Mersey Valley Tour. Picture: Caitlin Johnston

PROCESSION: The peloton winds its way around Railton on the final stage of the women's national road series Mersey Valley Tour. Picture: Caitlin Johnston

Madeleine Fasnacht confirmed her status as the state’s next up-and-coming cycling talent with an impressive fourth place overall in the national road series Mersey Valley Tour on Sunday.

The TIS team rider put in an outstanding performance to also claim sixth in the King of the Mountain section and finished first in the under-23 and under-19 categories.

The Hobart 17-year-old represented Australia at the junior world road championships in Doha last year and 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,” Fasnacht said. “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.”

TIS teammates Macey Stewart and Anya Louw were still feeling the effects of a hard fall on the Gunns Plains descent during stage 2 on Saturday but battled on gamely to race the final stage.

Stewart finished 34th overall but a very sore Louw was unfortunately unable to finish the final stage as was TIS teammate Renee Dykstra.

Holden Women Cycling team’s Grace Brown may have been beaten in the final sprint on the last stage but her overall victory for the Mersey Valley Tour was never in doubt.

While a confident ride during the 76.4-kilometre road race around Railton ensured that her yellow jersey remained in her keeping, 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 national road series tour. “I have improved so much over the past year,” Brown said having debuted at last year’s 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 while Brown’s team-mate Shannon Malseed rounded out the podium. 

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