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Lizzie Williams wins final Mersey Valley stage

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Lizzie Williams celebrates the stage win

Lizzie Williams celebrates the stage win (Image credit: Cycling Australia - Tim Bardsley-Smith)
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Ruth Corset in yellow during stage

Ruth Corset in yellow during stage (Image credit: Cycling Australia - Tim Bardsley-Smith)
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Hull leads up the climb

Hull leads up the climb (Image credit: Cycling Australia - Tim Bardsley-Smith)
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Corset leading Hull and Williams up climb

Corset leading Hull and Williams up climb (Image credit: Cycling Australia - Tim Bardsley-Smith)
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Lizzie Williams celebrates with team mate

Lizzie Williams celebrates with team mate (Image credit: Cycling Australia - Tim Bardsley-Smith)
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Ruth Corset celebrates in the NRS Series leader jersey

Ruth Corset celebrates in the NRS Series leader jersey (Image credit: Cycling Australia - Tim Bardsley-Smith)

Lizzie Williams (Specialised-Securitor) marked her return to the NRS by claiming a sprint victory on the third and final stage of the Mersey Valley Tour on Sunday. The former under 19 criterium national champion, who recently returned to cycling after a ten-year hiatus, bested Alex Manly (SASI) and Tour leader Ruth Corset (Holden Cycling) on the line after a tough 75km of racing.

Ruth Corset held on to win the race overall and now tops the individual NRS standings after two races despite suffering two falls in the stage as she edged just on the line to finish third.

"I feel so relieved, its been a tough Tour for me, my preparation coming in here wasn't ideal," said Williams who  last month won the challenging Mt Baw Baw Classic in Victoria.

"I have been off the bike for a couple of weeks and have only done a couple of rides. So I was trying to hide that I wasn't feeling good during the Tour, but ten kilometres in today I knew I had good legs and that I was going to go on the climb."

The final stage of the race greeted riders with hilly, single digit temperatures who would make their way from Ulverstone to the top of Gunns Plains through scenic green plains of the Apple Island.

The pace of the peloton was quick to gather momentum with speeds of 80km/hour witnessed on the winding roads down the long descent into the Gunns Plains valley. Once on the valley floor, the field settled into a comfortable rhythm on the valley floor awaiting the climb, which is regarded by many as the toughest climbs in Tasmania, is also the site of hometown hero Richie Porte’s infamous victory at the 2008 Tour of Tasmania.

The peloton splintered up the ascent while Corset and second overall Tessa Fabry (VIS) clipped wheels, both falling as a result from which Corset quickly recovered. Williams and 16-year-old phenom Anna-Leeza Hull (Racing Kangaroos) persueud Corest she was better off riding out in front and the trio quickly broke free from the diminshing peloton.

With just over ten kilometres to go the trio were joined by Corset’s team-mate Janelle Crooks and 2013 UCI Road World Championship medallist Manly and it appeared the quintet would be unchallenged for the win with the chasing pack over one minute behind

Corset once again fell with less than 10km to race after entering a corner too fast and in the same crash, Hull hit the ground the hard and was forced to withdraw with a suspected fractured elbow.

Chasing back the leading trio appeared to drain the reserves of Corset who was unable to answer Williams as she kicked early and held it to the line to take a maiden NRS stage win.

"Just after the climb, the final five of us talked and we worked really well together. Although we were hurting and we were tired, we knew we needed to maintain the pace together," said Williams, who focused on her university studies after claiming her national title and then turned her attentions to the Victorian Women’s Football League (AFL) for a few seasons, before picking up a bike last September in order to train for an Ironman triathlon.

"Ruth, I told her, she is like a cat, she doesn't die and she got back on after falling twice," Williams said. "But I knew she would be feeling it come the end and I would be fresher.

"I backed myself in the sprint, I have a kick on me, and I managed to hold it to the line."

Corset ended the three-stage race with a 59 second lead over Fabry while Crooks was a further seven seconds back in third. Hull capped a roller coaster Tour with the Queen of the Mountain Polka Dot jersey.

"There were a few girls today who tried to get away, but my girls did a really great job of controlling the pace," said Corset. "I was very happy that Janelle managed to get back on at the end, and we made sure we worked hard to stay away.

"It feels pretty good to have claimed the series jersey too. We have a pretty strong team this year and we are all gelling and working really well.

"Given it is only the start of the year, I am looking forward to the rest of the year," said Corset.

The next race in the Women's 2014 NRS season is the Northern NSW race, the Battle on the Border which begins on May 15.


Stage 3 Result
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lizzie Williams (Specialized Securitor)2:30:02
2Alexandra Manly
3Ruth Corset (Holden Women's Cycling Team)
4Jenelle Crooks (Holden Women's Cycling Team)
5Kristy Glover (Bicycle Superstore)0:00:49
6Rebecca Heath (Bicycle Superstore)
7Elizabeth Doueal (BikeBug-NextGen Racing)
8Alexandria Nicholls (Suzuki Brumby's)
9Ruby Livingstone (Boss Racing Team)
10Sophie Mackay (Specialized Securitor)
11Tessa Fabry (Jayco/Apollo VIS Women's Road Team)
12Macey Stewart0:02:14
13Jessica Pratt
14Lisa Keeling (Bicycle Superstore)
15Lisa Antill (Boss Racing Team)
16Bridie O'Donnell0:03:52
17Shannon Malseed (Holden Women's Cycling Team)
18Laura Darlington (Suzuki Brumby's)
19Kathryn Woolston
20Allison Rice (Suzuki Brumby's)
21Emma Viotto (Suzuki Brumby's)
22Kendelle Hodges (Jayco/Apollo VIS Women's Road Team)
23Georgina Beech (BikeBug-NextGen Racing)
24Cassandra Dodd (Specialized Securitor)
25Penny Brown (BikeBug-NextGen Racing)0:04:14
26Victoria Luxton-Bain (Bicycle Superstore)0:04:18
27Bethany Dunne (Boss Racing Team)0:05:38
28Rachel Ward (Boss Racing Team)0:05:57
29Justyna Lubkowski (BikeBug-NextGen Racing)
30Belamie Flint0:07:32
31Prudence Rothwell (BikeBug-NextGen Racing)0:07:41
32Gina Ricardo (Boss Racing Team)0:09:11
33Jemma Brown (Holden Women's Cycling Team)0:09:33
34Amy Cundy
DNFBrittany Lindores (Bicycle Superstore)
DNFJosie Talbot (Specialized Securitor)
DNFShannon Sherwin
DNFDanielle Mckinnirey
DNFLauren Perry
DNFKellie Schouten
DNFHollee Simons
DNFAnna- Leeza Hull
DNSJoanne Tralaggan (Holden Women's Cycling Team)

Hill Climbs - Kindred Road
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna- Leeza Hull5pts
2Lizzie Williams (Specialized Securitor)3
3Ruby Livingstone (Boss Racing Team)2
4Ruth Corset (Holden Women's Cycling Team)1

Hill Climbs - Riana Road
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruth Corset (Holden Women's Cycling Team)5pts
2Lizzie Williams (Specialized Securitor)3
3Anna- Leeza Hull2
4Jenelle Crooks (Holden Women's Cycling Team)1

Teams Stage Result
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Holden Women's Cycling Team7:33:58
2Bicycle Superstore
3Specialized Securitor0:00:49
4Suzuki Brumby's0:04:41
5Boss Racing Team0:04:49
6BikeBug-NextGen Racing0:05:03

General Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruth Corset (Holden Women's Cycling Team)5:23:44
2Tessa Fabry (Jayco/Apollo VIS Women's Road Team)0:00:59
3Jenelle Crooks (Holden Women's Cycling Team)0:01:06
4Alexandra Manly0:01:11
5Lizzie Williams (Specialized Securitor)0:02:08
6Sophie Mackay (Specialized Securitor)0:02:56
7Rebecca Heath (Bicycle Superstore)0:03:00
8Alexandria Nicholls (Suzuki Brumby's)0:03:29
9Ruby Livingstone (Boss Racing Team)0:04:00
10Kristy Glover (Bicycle Superstore)0:04:05
11Elizabeth Doueal (BikeBug-NextGen Racing)0:04:17
12Lisa Keeling (Bicycle Superstore)0:05:41
13Kendelle Hodges (Jayco/Apollo VIS Women's Road Team)0:05:43
14Jessica Pratt0:05:45
15Bridie O'Donnell0:06:16
16Emma Viotto (Suzuki Brumby's)0:06:57
17Macey Stewart0:07:08
18Cassandra Dodd (Specialized Securitor)0:07:45
19Lisa Antill (Boss Racing Team)0:08:10
20Laura Darlington (Suzuki Brumby's)0:08:29
21Kathryn Woolston0:09:24
22Rachel Ward (Boss Racing Team)0:10:23
23Shannon Malseed (Holden Women's Cycling Team)0:10:48
24Bethany Dunne (Boss Racing Team)0:13:25
25Belamie Flint0:13:47
26Georgina Beech (BikeBug-NextGen Racing)0:15:36
27Victoria Luxton-Bain (Bicycle Superstore)0:15:58
28Allison Rice (Suzuki Brumby's)0:16:37
29Penny Brown (BikeBug-NextGen Racing)0:17:56
30Justyna Lubkowski (BikeBug-NextGen Racing)0:18:11
31Gina Ricardo (Boss Racing Team)0:18:12
32Jemma Brown (Holden Women's Cycling Team)0:24:10
33Prudence Rothwell (BikeBug-NextGen Racing)0:24:34
34Amy Cundy0:42:42

Hill Climb Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruth Corset (Holden Women's Cycling Team)11pts
2Lisa Antill (Boss Racing Team)10
3Lizzie Williams (Specialized Securitor)7
4Tessa Fabry (Jayco/Apollo VIS Women's Road Team)3
5Elizabeth Doueal (BikeBug-NextGen Racing)3
6Alexandra Manly2
7Ruby Livingstone (Boss Racing Team)2
8Jenelle Crooks (Holden Women's Cycling Team)1
9Alexandria Nicholls (Suzuki Brumby's)1

Teams General Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Holden Women's Cycling Team16:23:06
2Bicycle Superstore0:00:52
3Specialized Securitor0:00:55
4Suzuki Brumby's0:07:01
5Boss Racing Team0:10:05
6BikeBug-NextGen Racing0:24:17

NRS Teams Aggregate - Standings after 2014 Mersey Valley Tour
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bicycle Superstore38pts
2Holden Women's Cycling Team37
3Specialized Securitor20
4Boss Racing Team16
5Suzuki Brumby's16
6Jayco/Apollo VIS Women's Road Team12
7Arbitrage Racing Women's Cycling Team10
8SASI Cycling Team10
9BikeBug-NextGen Racing7
11Building Champions Squad1

NRS Aggregate - Standings after 2014 Mersey Valley Tour
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruth Corset (Holden Women's Cycling Team)32pts
2Tessa Fabry (Jayco/Apollo VIS Women's Road Team)19
3Lizzie Williams (Specialized Securitor)19
4Felicity Wardlaw (Bicycle Superstore)15
5Jenelle Crooks (Holden Women's Cycling Team)13
6Kendelle Hodges (Jayco/Apollo VIS Women's Road Team)13
7Alexandra Manly11
8Rebecca Heath (Bicycle Superstore)10
9Sophie Mackay (Specialized Securitor)5
10Kristy Glover (Bicycle Superstore)4
11Annette Edmondson (SASI)4
12Alexandria Nicholls (Suzuki Brumby's)3
13Ruby Livingstone (Boss Racing Team)3
14Bridie O'Donnell3
15Jessica Mundy (SASI)3


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