Posted by Editor on 01/11/10
With its new status as a UCI-registered women’s cycling team, Team TIBCO/To the Top has added several top-performing international riders as well as a number of younger, up-and-coming riders, to an experienced returning core that includes 2009 U.S. National Road Champion Meredith Miller and 2008 Road and Criterium National Champion Brooke Miller. The team will look to build on its 2009 NRC Championship season, making its first foray into Europe in the spring.
“We set out in 2009 to become the top team in North America and we achieved that goal,” said the team’s founder and Managing Director, Linda Jackson. “For this year, our goals are even higher. We’ll be making our first trip to Europe, always with an eye toward the 2012 London Olympics. We want to build this team into a consistently strong international player this year and next, and develop as many Olympians as possible for 2012.
“We have a lot of proven talent on the roster, and I’m very excited about our younger, developing riders,” she continued. “Team TIBCO/To the Top will be going to all our races - in the U.S. and Europe - to win. Ruth Corset’s win at Australian Road Nationals was made possible by the selfless work of her teammate Emma Mackie. It’s this kind of teamwork that we plan on using to propel us to the top again in 2010.”
New U.S riders are led by veteran Kristen LaSasso, a strong climber and a rider who will take on a lead role for many of the North American stage races. “Kristen is a smart rider who knows how to position herself well in races,” Corbett said. “She had a really good 2009 despite riding with little support.”
Though just shy of her 24th birthday, Rebecca Much has been racing in the pro ranks since 2005. She showed her potential in 2004 when she finished 2nd in the World Junior Time Trial Championship. She’s won a pair of U23 national time trial championships, as well as a U23 cyclocross national championship.
She’ll be joined by another rising all-around talent, 23-year-old Amanda Miller. Miller is another strong climber, but also very good at criteriums. “She’s continually gaining a tactical sense for racing,” Corbett said. “She understands the game of chess on bikes and is showing the characteristics of a well-rounded rider.”
Team TIBCO also adds two young, up-and-coming sprinters for 2010, Megan Guarnier, 24, and Samantha Schneider, the youngest team member at just 19.
Devon Haskell rounds out the list of new riders for 2010, which will be her first pro season. Though she’s only been racing a few years, Haskell found early success in the college ranks, winning the national championship in 2008.
Returning Team TIBCO riders include both Millers, as well as Kiwi standout Joanne Kiesanowski, who finished third overall in the NRC individual points classification, Jerika Hutchinson, Alison Starnes and Ali Rosenthal. Emma Rickards returns in a rider/director role.
U.S. National Road Champion Meredith Miller will captain the team for 2010. Her experience, tactical knowledge and strong, opportunistic riding style will be a critical component to the team this season.
Brooke Miller returned to full health during the summer of 2009 after being slowed by a respiratory illness in the first part of the season. Once she was back, she was nearly unbeatable, closing last season with five straight wins, including a four-race sweep of the Tour of Missouri Women’s Series. She’ll be looking to establish her place as one of the world’s top sprinters in 2010.
Ryan Bontrager joins the staff as Head Mechanic, and veteran directeur sportif Chris Georgas will manage the team in Europe for the spring campaign that will include top-level UCI races and World Cups in Belgium and Holland, culminating with Tour de L'Aude in France. Georgas raced for several years in Canada, the U.S. and France before turning to coaching and directing. Over the past decade, Georgas has directed Canadian and New Zealand women’s national teams, and several UCI pro Women’s teams in over 20 World Cups and five Tours de L'Aude. He is also currently active in coaching and teaching road and track for the French Federation and USA Cycling.
Ruth Corset (Aus)
Megan Guarnier (USA)
Devon Haskell (USA)
Jerika Hutchinson (USA)
Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl)
Kristen LaSasso (USA)
Emma Mackie (Aus)
Amanda Miller (USA)
Brooke Miller (USA)
Meredith Miller (USA)
Emma Rickards (Aus)
Alison Rosenthal (USA)
Samantha Schneider (USA)
Alison Starnes (USA)
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