With three team mates supporting her, Brooke Miller (Team TIBCO) easily wins the first stage of the Tour of Missouri Women’s Series – Studio 2108 Presents the Tour de Lafayette.
“My girls were so awesome,” declared Miller. “It was so much fun tonight. Colavita had several riders out there. It was awesome to have four riders and have a rider match every move tonight. With Kat (Carroll) off the front, Colavita had their whole team chase her. The second the brought Kat back, Rebecca Larson (ValusAct Capital) and I would go. Colavita would bring us back and then Rushlee (Buchanan) and ALI (Starnes) would go.”
“The best part is that we have not had a chance to really race with Rushlee and Ali in the crits….tohave them come and be interchangeable puzzle pieces and have them fit in perfectly in how we race all season long is a testament of how strong they are as riders,” continued Miller. “They can adapt to how the race changes. I attacked in the beginning that sat back a bit. Since we had only four riders, I wanted to be able to have some kick abd to have legs at the end to finish.”
TIBCO started their lead out train with four laps to go. Miller commented, “with our horsepower I knew we could do it.”
“In the final lap, Colavita took over from the second corner. I left Kat and went surfing and saw Kelly Benjamin (Colavita). I went after her wheel and fought Sam Schneider (Team Type 1) for it. I was on Kelly’s wheel coming around the last corner. She jumped out of the corner and I satyed on her wheel. I saw something coming around, but it was my shadow (laughs)…..so I beat my shadow.”
“We came one rider short in the lead out,” said third-placed Kelly Benjamin (Colavita/Sutter Home). “Tina (Pic) had to hit the front pretty much from the second turn. I was second wheel on the last lap, which really isn’t ideal. Tina made it all the way up but that is pretty far from the finish. I had no choice but to lead it out. They were able to come around me pretty easily.”
Second place winner, Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) stated, “I just remained as patient as I could and took turns covering some of the moves. It came down to a group sprint and I am very happy the way it turned out. I am quite happy with the podium finish to start the Tour of Missouri. As a two rider team from Mellow Mushroom….I am very happy.”
The battle continues on Saturday, Stage 2 – Big Shark Bicycle Company’s St. Louis Hills Francis Park Criterium.
Complete results here
Gallery (Click for larger)
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