Team TIBCO was rewarded for its consistently strong, aggressive riding all week at the Nature Valley Grand Prix, taking home the overall team general classification title for the six-stage race.
Katharine Carroll and Joanne Kiesanowski both finished in the top 10 of the final, difficult stage, the Stillwater Criterium, considered one of the hardest circuits on the U.S. race scene. The high placings secured 4th overall for Carroll and 7th overall for Kiesanowski.
“The girls rode great all week,” said Team TIBCO directeur sportif Jeff Corbett. “They rode really well as a team. That aspect kind of got away from us in Montreal and Philadelphia. But we found it again this week. They worked well together, and they were the prime aggressors of the race this week.”
The teamwork showed particularly well in Brooke Miller’s stage win Friday evening in Minneapolis. “The last lap was one of the best lead-outs we’ve done all season,” Corbett said. “We had five girls on the front the last lap leading out Brooke. It was textbook.”
Team TIBCO consistently placed riders in the top 10 of every stage, with Miller taking her stage win and 3rd place in stage 5, while Kiesanowski scored 2nd place in the second stage. The team also place six riders in the top 20 of the opening time trial.
“We always want to get the overall win,” said Kiesanowski, “but we showed that we were the strongest team overall again this week. It was a testament to the team that we finished all eight riders as well.”
Carroll agreed with the assessment. “The team GC was an accurate representation of our efforts all week,” she said. “We tried to be aggressive each day. We may not have gotten the individual GC, but we were up there all week.”
“We tried to make Kristin (Armstrong, Cervelo Test Team) work hard and tire her out,” Kiesanowski added. “We dictated a lot of the attacks this week. And Brooke’s break in Stage 5 was race-changing. It was good to finally have a move that stuck to the end.”
That effort continued throughout the final stage, as well. “Stillwater is just a really hard day,” Kiesanowski said. “It would’ve been good for one of us to get in the move with Kristin, but once you miss the move, it’s hard to catch back up on this course, especially when it’s someone as strong as her up front.”
But overall, Corbett was very pleased with the team’s performance, and noted that “Jo and Kat did a great job to hang in the front group Sunday. The race blew to pieces pretty early and they rode really well. Amber (Rais) and Julie (Beveridge) also did great work trying to bridge up from the second group to the first chase group. And Lauren finished really well even though she had a pulled muscle in her ribcage that prevented her from really going deep.”
Beveridge and Rais both finished the stage in the top 25, while Tamayo still finished both the final stage and race overall in 13th place.
“The whole week was good,” Kiesanowski said. “We rode really well together. I’m looking forward to the next stage race.”
Kiesanowski and the rest of Team TIBCO will have to wait a month for that, when the Cascade Classic kicks off on July 18. In between, Brooke and Meredith Miller, Carroll and Tamayo will all travel to Italy with the national team to participate in the Giro d’Italia donne, the women’s Giro, beginning July 3.