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Kiesanowski & TIBCO End Euro Campaign at Tour d l'Aude
26 May, 2010
Team TIBCO's two month European racing campaign ends with the final stage of the Tour d l'Aude, in the beautiful city of Carcassone.

Today's course began with flat to rolling countryside, then climbed up and over two categorized climbs before descending back into Carcassone for 6 fast laps weaving through the city. On the final day of a long stage race, the General Classification is not likely to be changed and it is often a chance for a break-away of riders who are not big threats to the race leaders. "We approached today's stage with the goal of being the riders in that break" said Brooke Miller.

The race was grueling from the start. Dutch cycling phenom and former world champion, Marianne Vos attacked the peloton the moment the race started. TIBCO riders were ready and covered the move, only to have it squashed by the charging peloton. The first 10k of the race saw a barrage of attacks, all covered by TIBCO riders. Several small breaks formed, but race leader, Cervelo, kept bringing breaks back and keeping the peloton together.

The pace was fast and the terrain challenging. The course followed undulating hills that taxed already tired legs. After 10 physically and mentally exhausting days of racing, the peloton was suffering in yet another day of hard and fast racing. Sprinter, Brooke Miller was still in the sprint jersey, but crashed about 10k before the first categorized climb of the day. Although unhurt, she had to chase back onto the pack and had to drop back a second time to change bikes after the climb. She worked hard to catch back up to the peloton, but reached the pack as they climbed the second categorized climb of the day and the effort prevented her from cresting the climb with the group. Teammate Emma Mackie "worked tirelessly to me to catch the leaders" said Brooke.

Meanwhile, up in the front pack, Joanne Kiesanowski and Amanda Miller were riding strong in the front of the group. Over the final climb of the day, Marianne Vos attacked again on a long and very technical descent. A skilled descender, Vos was able to gain over one minute on the peloton. Her solo attack was then chased by HTC-Columbia, in order to set up Ina Teutenberg for the win. As the pack reached Carcassone and the finishing circuits, Vos was reeled in, but Columbia riders were no longer able to control the peloton. Amanda was working to help Jo, but the fast pace and swarming pack made the finish difficult to control. The sprint into the finish was a technical one with the final corner a mere 150-meters from the finish. Jo fought her way into good position behind Ina, but in the chaos at the finish, she was swarmed by the rest of the pack and was not able to repeat her top finish of the previous day. Ina won the sprint and Jo finished in 12th place.

Click to enlarge...
JK and her TIBCO team

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