In a stunning solo performance in Tasmania, Tessa Fabry has taken out stage 3 of the 2016 Mersey Valley Tour with a 60km breakaway to lead a High5 Dream Team clean sweep of the podium after Lucy Kennedy finished second, and Lisen Hockings snatched third.

The result meant Hockings finished her debut National Road Series event in second on General Classification, just six seconds behind winner Kate Perry. Kennedy moved up to third on GC, with stage winner Fabry fourth.

“It’s an incredible feeling to win a stage after being in a solo breakaway for 60 kilometres. It’s one of those races you dream about, but you never think are actually going to happen, so I’m absolutely thrilled to win the race that way!”

“We hit the first hill hard, then there was a lull after getting over the top of the Queen of the Mountain point, and I heard someone say: ‘Are we going to work or are we going to sit up?’ I said ‘neither’ and off I went!

“I was not expecting to go away that early, but I saw an opportunity and thought it could really put pressure on Specialized, and then I just kept going! I have always dreamt of winning a race solo in that style so it feels pretty amazing” said Fabry.

Third on the stage, and second overall in her maiden National Road Series event, Lisen Hockings was full of praise for Fabry.

“Finishing on the GC podium today was a very pleasant surprise, but I think the thing to talk about today is the phenomenal ride by Tessa. That was just obscene! She absolutely belted the stage today, it’s just the most brilliant ride. We had torrential rain, hail, head winds, it was brutal. Tessa was out the front by herself just getting it done like a complete legend.”

Lucy Kennedy finished the stage in second position, which cemented her place on the GC podium, and was ecstatic after watching her teammate take the stage win.

“It was always a possibility that Tessa or I would make an early break, and Tessa went a lot earlier than we were expecting, but she picked a perfect opportunity when everyone was hesitating. That meant Lisen and I had a cruisy ride entering the last climb.”

“Ruth attacked on the final climb, Lisen followed her and I followed Lisen. I could see Tessa on the climb, we were getting closer and closer, and I was really hoping she would hold on! She had done such an awesome job, so I was really happy to see Tessa take the win after a 60km solo effort.”

“With Lisen coming over Kate (Perry) at the finish, it was really exciting for us to take 1-2-3 on the stage” concluded Kennedy.

After a tour that included two stage wins and three riders on the final General Classification podium, attention now shifts to the Battle on the Border in June.

Stage 3 Results

1. Tessa FABRY (HFD) 2h31:35
2. Lucy KENNEDY (HFD) +8
3. Lisen HOCKINGS (HFD) +13

Final General Classification

1. Kate PERRY (SPW) 5h14:44
2. Lisen HOCKINGS (HFD) +6
3. Lucy KENNEDY (HFD) +25
4. Tessa FABRY (HFD) +36

Images copyright Caitlin Johnston/Cycling Australia

2016 Mersey Valley Tour Stage 3 - General Classification podium 2016 Mersey Valley Tour Stage 3 - Tessa Fabry