Kate Perry in the yellow jersey on the final day of the tour. Picture: Cycling AustraliaWagga cyclist Sophie Mackay played the support role for Specialized Women’s Racing teammate Kate Perry who won the Mersey Valley Tour on the weekend.
Perry won by six seconds to take the lead in the Subaru National Road Series after the third event for the season.
Mackay and two of her teammates worked to catch the lead pack and ensure Perry was well-positioned for the hill climb.
“Kate’s a particularly good climber,” Mackay said.
The girls closed a 58-second gap in the space of 10km before a decisive climb, where Perry overtook the leader to snare the yellow jersey on Saturday.
“We allowed Kate to draft behind us andshe was able to conserve energy for the hill,” Mackay said.
“On the third day it was just a matter of holding onto the yellow jersey.”
The rain in Tasmania was continuous and torrential, and despite competing in the most arduous conditions of her career, Mackay had the time of her life.
“Iquite enjoyed the challenge of the weather,” she said.
“It’s a particularly tough course; amentalchallenge.”
Next on the agenda, Mackay will compete in a couple of local events including the Geoff Dixon Memorial and the Cootamundra Haycarters classic and recovery races.
She looks forward to a national series race in June.
“The Battle on the Border ismore suited to me,” she said.
“There aremore sprint finishes.”
She’s in good form,and gaining momentum on the road thanks tocontinuedtraining.
“I’m really enjoying getting on the bike every day; Ifeel energetic,” Mackay said.
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