Colavita/Sutter Home dominated most of the race today….controlling many of the attacks and maintaining a tight lead out in the final two laps. What was not expected by Colavita/Sutter Home was the 1-2 punch of Kat Carroll and Brooke Miller of Team TIBCO in the final lap. With the help of Carroll, Miller took the final corner and sprinted to the finish for her second win in the Tour of Missouri Women Series – St. Louis Hills presented by Big Shark Bicycle Company.
“We decided to do things differently today,” stated Miller. “We thought that Colavita was setting up too early. This race has long laps and with two laps to go we decided to make the call to wait and be patient. We decided to let Colavita do what they needed to do and that we would play off of them. Coming into the finish, around corner 3, I was behind Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom), who was behind Kelly Benjamin (Colavita/Sutter Home), who was behind Tina Pic (Colavita/ Sutter Home). Tina was trying to lead Kelly out. When we went around the final corner, Kat (Carroll) moved up and blocked off the corner for me to keep anyone coming from the inside. In the backside Kat attacked to bring me second wheel to the corner. We improvised. I was trying to be patient on my sprint because I keep going too early. I always joke that when I think of sprinting I count 1-2 and then sprint. I did see Sam Schneider (Team Type 1) attack. She has a great little jump. I went thinking I could chase her down and go to the finish. I wanted to make sure that no one would be close coming to the finish.
Team TIBCO once again had great teamwork. Kat Carroll, Ali Starnes, and Rushlee Buchanan often answered the attacks with the Colavita/ Sutter Home riders. ”The team once again worked great today,” declared Miller. “Ali (Starnes) is turning into a great crit rider. We are going to sweep the weekend.”
Kelly Benjamin (Colavita/Sutter Home) was third yesterday and finished second today. “The girls were amazing today. I really think that this was the best lead out that I have seen this year for us,” commented Benjamin. “I just could not ask for anything more. Tina (Pic) was working hard for me last night and today. She gave me one of the best lead outs I have ever had. When you have Tina Pic working for you, it’s pretty easy. Colavita had the numbers so our best bet was to put the other riders on the ropes, to make them work a little harder. I really think we did that. I am very happy about today’s results. We are coming out here, working our way up. Brooke is pretty fast but we are going to keep trying.”
“Actually it took us awhile to get our lead out together, but I think we finally did,” added Colavita/Sutter Home’s Tina Pic. “I think I went out too early because I wanted to bring about half way to the finish but I kinda ran out of gas. We just need to time it a little better.”
Third-placed finisher US U23 Criterium Champion Sam Schneider (Team Type 1) remained with Benjamin and Miller in the final lap. ”Brooke told me after the race that she saw me and that she had to go after me on the home straight,” stated Schneider. “I was very happy to be in there, though I am unhappy that it did not pay off this time.”
The Tour of Missouri Women Series continues tomorrow with stage 3 – Giro Della Montagna presented by Specialized Bicycles.
Complete results here
Gallery (Click for larger images)
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