Tour de Perth
By Michelle Kramer
Record entry for this West coast Australian race
The Tour was based in Kalamunda, which is a pretty suburb in the Hills. Yes! Perth does have hills, which can be deceivingly long and challenging, especially when ridden at a fast pace!! The weather was perfect for racing with cool mornings, warm days and light winds. Entry for the Tour was the largest in its history, with 60 Elite Men and 21 Elite Women competing. The QAS was well represented with a team of 4 and other interstate riders making the trip across the Nullarbor.
1: Time Trial 4.5km (Saturday)
On an undulating course, this was won by Vicky Eustace from Canberra in a time of 8:54 closely followed by Kate Mercer (QAS) 8:55 and Josie Loane (QAS) 8:56.
These results were indicative of who were to be the dominant women in the Tour.
2: Road Stage 72km (Saturday)
This first road stage was 4 laps of a course which included steep, rolling hills with little protection from the wind. The field broke up early on the first lap, then a smaller group of 6 went away on Lap 2. This group consisted of Vicky Eustace, Kate Mercer, Josie Loane, Tiffany Cromwell, Debra Fagg and Josephine Tomic. The 6 worked well together until halfway through Lap 3 when the their number was cut to 4 when Fagg and Tomic slipped off the pace. The remaining 4 worked well doing turns at the front and it was going to be decided in a sprint finish. With 200m to go, Tiffany Cromwell led the sprint, followed by Vicky Eustace, Josie Loane and Kate Mercer. It was a tight finish with Josie Loane just coming over the top of Vicky Eustace followed by Tiffany Cromwell
3: Road Stage 54km (Sunday)
Loane was in the Tour yellow jersey while Vicky Eustace was officially
awarded the National Race Series Yellow jersey.
The very hilly course was along Mundaring Weir Rd up to Mundaring and
then back to Kalamunda.
There were a few attacks but the bunch remained together until 22km into the race, when half the pack were dropped. The final decisive attack by Vicky Eustace was on the mountains competition hill, which left a group of 8 women working together and who were going to battle it out on a sprint finish. They did not disappoint, with Vicky Eustace, Josie Loane and Kate Mercer leading the sprint out at 500m to go. Josie Loane was too strong, taking the win and the GC followed by Kate Mercer and Kelly Harry. The second leading bunch also battled it out at a tight sprint finish between Emma Mackie (QAS) and Maryam Rogers (Kathy Watt Cycling).
Results - Overall General Classification
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