In an exciting final day of racing, Team TIBCO worked heroically to keep Megan Guarnier in the lead and delivered her to an overall win at the Redlands Classic. Guarnier won the four-day stage race with a 3-second lead over general classification rival Alison Powers; enough to clinch the win.
“We had one goal for today,” said Team TIBCO European directeur sportif Angela van Smoorenburg. “Keep the yellow jersey.”
In a race notorious for leader’s losing their yellow jersey on the final day of racing, it was essential for Team TIBCO to stay organized and patrol the field. The strategy for today’s technical and hilly 68-mile Sunset Road Race was similar to their effort on Friday: Stay in control of the race, push the pace, and prevent any GC riders from escaping. Their plan played out perfectly.
“The Team really came together every day and everybody stepped up their game to protect and retain the yellow jersey,” said Olympic long team member Guarnier. “Today was a really hard climbing race, but the Team stuck to the plan, had faith, and kept me at the front.”
Guarnier counted on teammates Lindsay Myers, fellow Olympic long team member Amanda Miller, and Canadian National Champion Veronique Fortin to set a furious pace up the climbs, neutralizing the possibility of any potential attacks.
During yesterday’s criterium, sprinting specialists Samantha Schneider, Lauren Hall and Kendall Ryan protected their leader by pushing the pace, shutting down countless attacks, and then leading out Guarnier for a second place finish. Throughout the four-day Classic, Guarnier was backed by exceptional team cohesion and prowess from the 8-rider squad.
“This is how you get results,” said van Smoorenburg. “It’s not just Megan who did an outstanding job; it’s the Team as a whole. Every day, each rider played a key role in keeping Megan in the lead and through impressive teamwork they succeeded.”
Guarnier established her lead on day one, taking first place at the Prologue time trial. This put her in position to contend for the overall general classification, and her teammates were committed to supporting their GC rider.
After yesterday’s 60-minute criterium, Guarnier was able to put more time into her GC rivals with a second place finish. Guarnier extended her lead by 6 seconds, putting her ahead of GC competitors Alison Powers and Amber Neben by 14 and 16 seconds, respectively. Today, she held onto her lead and secured the overall win.
In the Men’s Pro Race, Patrick Bevin (Bissell Pro Cycling) sprinted to his third straight stage win during a rainy Sunset Road Race. Phil Gaimon (Kenda/5hr Energy p/b Geargrinder) held on to the GC lead to take the overall at the Redlands Bicycle Classic.