With her leadout train thrown for a loop by a last ditch attack, Brooke Miller and her Tem TIBCO teammates improvised to win the bunch sprint in the 25-mile Women’s Presbyterian Hospital Invitational Criterium in Charlotte a few hours ago. Colavita/Sutter Home’s Tina Pic and Verducci-Breakaway’s Theresa Cliff-Ryan were second and third respectively.
With the field all back together in the final lap , Team Type 1′s Kori Seehafer launched a blistering attack to disrupt the train but the TIBCO re-grouped and brought Miller to her spot at the front so she can do her thing.
“With that last move that Kori did, that threw our leadout plan out of the window so we had to improvise. It was an improvised finish, Lauren chased her down which we needed to do so she did a good move. Then I was on Jo, Colavita was getting their train going, next thing I know Meredith comes motoring up and Kat comes motoring up and all of a sudden I had my train again and I’m in my comfort zone and there’s just taking care of me, then I can just relax and be patient. ” said Miller.
Miller was quick to thank her teammates Lauren Tamayo, Jo Kiesanowski, Kat Carroll, Emma Rickards and Meredith Miller after the victory.
“There is a certain feeling that you have when your team is behind you so much – the feeling is like you can close your eyes and fall backwards, and they’re going to catch you, it’s the best feeling in the world. I was confident today because I knew my team would race like that, my girls are just amazing.” said Miller.
Big and noisy crowds, hot temperatures and lots of primes greeted the riders as they started racing on the 1.25-mile (2 km) elongated figure-8 course. The first attack came from Carroll with ValueAct’s Kristin Sanders and Colavita/Sutter Home’s Andrea Dvorak quickly jumping on her wheel. But the trio was soon brought back as moves and counter-moves were tried, some to get the prime money and some to try and get away from the field.
“We needed the right combination of riders for a breakaway to succeed,” commented ValueAct team captain Chrissy Ruiter. “Other teams wouldn’t work with us, and they were happy to settle for a bunch sprint.”
The TIBCO team sent rider after rider up the road to force the Team Type 1 squad to chase in order to take over the lead in the NRC Team Standings from Team Type 1.
“We’d like to be able to take the NRC championships so we wanted to put pressure on Team Type 1 to have to work. Team Type 1 kept missing the breaks and having to chase, Alison [Powers] kept getting up there, Kori [Seehafer] and Jen [McRae] did a real heroic effort to get up there. Every time we saw them go, it’s just pat ourselves on the back, we’re doing our job, we’re doing our job. And then she would get caught and one of my teammates would be on the next round of attacks. ”
About half-way through the race, Carroll attacked again and got away with Rachel Heal (Colavita/Sutter Home) and established a gap of 15 seconds to the field. Powers led the chase in the field and the duo was finally caught with 5 laps to go.
The ValueAct team tried once again to get a break going but to no avail.
“It was frustrating,” stated ValueAct’s Robin Farina. “I attacked with 3 laps to go and Cath Cheatley (Colavita) and Jo Kiesanowski (TIBCO) went with me, but they wouldn’t work. Chrissy tried to go after me, but nothing stayed away.”
As the race wound down, the trains started to get formed at the front until the final disruptive attack. In the final dash to the line, Miller was following her 3 teammates when a crafty Pic, who had slotted herself in the TIBCO trio, jumped with 300 meters to go.
“Tina jumped, we were still 300 meters or more further out, further than I would have have scripted my jump but when I saw Tina go, I was feeling good so I thought ‘ah I can go from here’ and I went, it was early, I was starting to fade a little towards the line but I had gotten a good enough gap, I saw the girls behind me and I had time to post. ” said Miller.
Complete results here
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