Team TIBCO won the UCI Grand Prix Cycliste Gatineau race today through impressive teamwork that helped put Shelley Olds in position to take the sprint for first. A 6-rider Team TIBCO squad contested the 134-kilometer race in Western Quebec this morning, racing assertively and keeping the pressure on by drilling it at the front of the race.
“It was a really big victory today for us as a team,” said Olds. “It came down to having a really good plan and executing it perfectly. Everyone did what they were asked to do, we didn't falter from our plan, and we all contributed in a big way to the win.”
The course took riders through 13 laps on a technical 10.18-kilometer course for a total of 134 kilometers. For the first half of the race, it was gruppo compatto. One rider attacked, while Lex Albrecht of Canada bridged to join her. With two riders up the road, Team TIBCO worked to keep them at a comfortable distance with some help from Optum. With about 80 kilometers to go, another Canadian rider bridged up to the breakaway to make it three.
“We continued to control the gap until with 2 laps to go, we decided to bring it back,” recounted Olds. “Melanie [Spath], Claudia [Hausler], and Chantal [Blaak] did an amazing job of closing the gap and bringing the break back.”
“With 1 lap to go, we kept our presence on the front after the catch, essentially making one 10-kilometer final leadout,” Olds said.
With 2.5 kilometers to go, Hausler attacked, forcing other teams to react. Rushlee Buchanan then took to the front for the final kilometers, while fellow Olympian Jo Kiesanowski put in a hard dig as the final leadout for Olds.
“The girls did an amazing job today of delivering me to the line with fresh legs,” said Olds. “Everyone was brilliant and we celebrate this victory together.”
The Team put 3 riders in the top 10, with Blaak in 7th and Kiesanowski coming in 8th.
Today’s race serves as a lead up to the Chrono Gatineau Individual Time Trial to be held this Monday at 1 p.m.