It’s day one of the Redlands Classic and Team TIBCO has wasted no time in making its presence known. Olympic long team member Megan Guarnier won today’s time trial and is set up to contend for the stage race General Classification.
Guarnier dominated the 3.1-mile time trial that featured two miles of false flat and a final mile that kicked up to a gradient of 10 to 15 percent. The win puts Guarnier in perfect position to challenge the GC.
In the days that follow, Team TIBCO will do whatever it takes to keep Guarnier in the race lead.
“We have good team cohesion and yesterday the atmosphere at our team meeting was very good,” said Team TIBCO European directeur sportif Angela van Smoorenburg. “I believe our unity helped the riders achieve good results all around, with Megan taking the win.”
Tomorrow, the riders head to Beaumont for a 72-mile circuit race. It will be a hilly stage with a lot of climbing, so the team will have to be vigilant to protect Guarnier.
“We will have to neutralize all attacks during tomorrow’s stage, or better yet, ride offensively and go out on our own for attacks,” said van Smoorenburg. “Our goal is to still be in the lead tomorrow afternoon.”
Guarnier will be supported by a well-rounded squad that includes fellow Olympic long team member Amanda Miller, Canadian National Champion Veronique Fortin, climber Lindsay Myers and all-arounder Jennifer Wheeler. Sprinters Kendall Ryan, Samantha Schneider and Lauren Hall will be key in protecting Guarnier during Saturday’s criterium.
Guarnier comes off a strong performance with the Team in Europe, and has shown she’s ready to take on the domestic racing scene.
“I’ve watched Megan develop on the Team over the past three years and she is incredibly talented,” said Team TIBCO Founder and Director Linda Jackson. “She is now among the best in the world.”
After tomorrow’s circuit race, stage two of the Classic will take place on Saturday as the riders navigate a technical criterium course for 60 minutes. Sunday we’ll see the final stage of racing take riders over a hilly 68-mile road race.
“We have a really talented, cohesive team this year to help defend the jersey,” said Jackson. “This is just the beginning.”
Pro Men’s Race
In the men’s race, Phil Gaimon (Kenda/5hr Energy p/b Geargrinder) continued his winning streak after winning the San Dimas Stage Race Time Trial on Glendora Mountain Road last week. Gaimon set the fastest time with a time of 9:25, followed by Julian Kyer (Juwi Solar Cycling) in 09:28.55 and Morgan Schmitt (Team Exergy) in 9:31.42.