AUGUSTA, Georgia (VN) — Megan Guarnier (Team TIBCO-To the Top) sprinted to victory on Sunday in the elite women’s road race at the USA Cycling national championships.
Teammate Lauren Hall joined her on the podium, taking second on the day, with Carmen Small (Team Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) finishing third.
And TIBCO scored a bonus — by finishing fifth, Samantha Schneider secured her second consecutive under-23 road national title.
A 10-rider break containing TIBCO’s Amanda Miller went clear early in the 120km race and stayed clear for four laps of the 13-mile circuit, dwindling to four riders by the time it was caught with one lap to go.
A diminished bunch tackled the finishing climb, and the finale was a three-way battle among TIBCO, NOW and Novartis for MS, and Optum.
“Going into the climb, I was on Ali’ Powers’ wheel on the right side,” Guarnier said. “Lauren and Sam were on the left side with Lindsay Myers leading them out. Janel Holcombe went to the front and strung things out and my path opened up a bit more.
“Optum was leading out Carmen, so I jumped on her wheel and then Lauren found my wheel. When the road flattened out with 300 meters to go I went with Lauren on my wheel.”
TIBCO’s European sport director Angela van Smoorenberg called it “a very satisfying win.”
“One of my goals in directing is to get the riders to race well as a team and today they did,” she said. “We didn’t want to race for the bunch sprint today and we were able to take advantage of Amanda being up in the break. Lauren rode very strong again today. She was focused on nationals and she showed that she was good when she finished a very close second in the criterium.”