Nearly every rider from Team TIBCO/To the Top will be in action this weekend as the team takes on races in three locations across North America.
The action kicks off Thursday with the second Chrono Gatineau, part of Le Grand Prix Cicliste Gatineau in Gatineau, Quebec, just across the Ottawa River from the hometown of Team TIBCO founder Linda Jackson.
Team TIBCO will have a six-rider squad for the weekend of racing in Gatineau, which also includes the Grand Prix Cycliste Gatineau, a 98 km circuit race on Saturday. Both the Chrono and the Grand Prix are part of the UCI calendar.
Contesting the 19 km Chrono Thursday for Team TIBCO will be Erinne Willock and Megan Guarnier. The full squad will race on Saturday, including 2010 GP winner and Montreal, Quebec resident Joelle Numainville, 2010 GP runner up Joanne Kiesanowski, Guarnier, Emma Mackie, Carlee Taylor and Willock, who will be making her return to racing after recovering from a broken scapula incurred at the Dretse 8 race in Holland in April. Before her injury, Willock had enjoyed a strong early spring campaign, including taking 2nd overall in a highly competitive Redlands Classic in early April.
“I’m very excited to be back racing, and back with my teammates,” Willock said. “The first races back after a long layoff like this are always a question mark. I was able to spend a lot of time on my Kurt Kinetic trainer while I recovered, but obviously the race environment is different. We’ll just have to see how it goes, but I’m just happy to resume my season.”
Numainville and Kiesanowski will be two of the favorites on the classics-style course that features a number of short, punchy climbs over the 9.8 km circuit, which riders will cover 10 times. Last year’s race finished in a bunch sprint that Numainville narrowly won over Kiesanowski. Numainville comes into the Gatineau weekend on a roll. Following a solid performance at the Pan Am Games qualifying races two weekends ago, she brought that form into three races in St. Louis last weekend, coming away with a pair of wins, and a 2nd place that likely would’ve been her third win of the weekend except for a crash that disrupted her sprint.
“It’s a tough little course,” said Team Manager/Directeur Sportif Lisa Hunt. “We have an exceptionally strong team for the race. Obviously, Joelle and Jo come in as favorites after taking the top two spots last year. But Megan is also racing very well right now. She had a great Joe Martin Stage Race, and a great pair of races in Northern California last weekend. Erinne is a bit of a wild card, but I’m so excited to have her back racing with the team.”
For more information on Le Grand Cicliste Gatineau, visit:
Team TIBCO/To the Top for Le Grand Cicliste Gatineau:
Megan Guarnier, USA
Joanne Kiesanowski, NZL
Emma Mackie, AUS
Joelle Numainville, CAN
Carlee Taylor, AUS
Erinne Willock, CAN