TIBCO’s Millers go 1-2. With their top sprinter racing in Europe, the TIBCO/To The Top team came in with a plan, to attack and attack some more to fatigue the sprinters on the other teams and go for a break win. And that’s exactly what they did at the Sea Otter Classic SRAM Criterium on Thursday. Attacks flew from the start of the 50-minute crit held on a hot dog-shaped course on Laguna Seca racetrack. Team VBF’s Alison Powers set off the hostilities, the move as quickly covered by Rebecca Much (TIBCO). Attacks and counter-attacks flew as Team VBF, Colavita/Baci and TIBCO riders all made their moves.
Twenty minutes into the race, three riders managed to get a gap, Alison Testroete (Team VBF), Meredith Miller (TIBCO) and New Zealand National Champion Rushlee Buchanan (Colavita/Baci) in her black-and-white kit. Behind them, a chase group which included Olivia Dillon (Peanut Butter Co TWENTY12), Melissa Sanborn, Lauren Hall (Team VBF), Liza Rachetto (DFT Treads), Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Colavita/Baci) and Amanda Miller (TIBCO/To The Top). A. Miller quickly attacked her group and bridged up solo to the break, making it two TIBCOs (and two Millers) in the break of 4 riders.
Then there were three when Testroete was dropped after the Millers attacked and counter-attacked. A breather and the duo went at it again, M. Miller attacked, Buchanan covered and A. Miller countered and got away solo with 18 minutes to go.
With four laps to go, the situation had not changed. A. Miller was off the front with a gap of 15 seconds on Buchanan and M. Miller who was sitting on. Behind them, Vzesniauskaite attacked her group and started to move up. Seeing the Colavita/Baci rider closing the gap, M. Miller attacked with two laps to go and dropped Buchanan.
A. Miller had time to enjoy her victory. M. Miller finished second. Vzesniauskaite who caught up with her teammate finished third, Buchanan fourth. Sanborn won the sprint for fifth out of the chase group.
BISSELL time-trials to victory. 9 riders in the field of around 35, everyone expected the BISSELL team to control the winning break, just like last year. And that’s exactly what they did. Immediately at the start of the 60-minute men’s criterium, the BISSELL riders launched attacks, first it was Paul Mach then Daniel Holloway and Rob Britton. Moves were covered by Evan Huffman and his Yahoo! Cycling teammates and Tim Farhnam (Adageo Energy). But truly it was just a matter of time before the elastic broke. It was Mach again who was quickly joined by brothers Andy and Ben Jacques-Maynes and not long after by Jeremy Vennell, making it four. Under all the attacks, the field had splintered leaving a group of 9 riders chasing, with Farnham and Yahoo! Cycling riders doing most of the work.
The four BISSELL riders put their heads down and assumed time-trial mode increasing the gap lap after lap. Soon, the break was lapping dropped riders on the track. With 10 laps to go, the gap was one minute and fifteen seconds. Behind them the chase has splintered. In the final laps, Britton attacked the chase group to hunt for fifth spot on the podium.
On the final lap, Vennell put in a dig and did it again after being chased down by Mach and claimed the win. The remaining trio drag-raced to the finish with A. Jacques-Maynes taking second, Mach third and B. Jacques-Maynes fourth.
The racing continues Saturday with the SRAM Road Race. which starts on Laguna Seca Raceway and travels down Barloy Canyon Road to the Fort Ord 8.5-mile race loop, to end up with a climb back up Barloy Canyon to its crest for a mountain top finish. Starting at 12:05pm, the Men’s pro/1/2 do 9 laps of the Ford Ord loop for a total of 68 miles. The Women’s pro/1/2 do 6 laps for a total of 47.6 miles starting at 12:08pm. Yes they are on course at the same time.
Amanda Miller and Meredith Miller|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjEphrjoKEI
Photo Gallery (Click for larger images)
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Top 5 Women
1. Amanda Miller (TIBCO/To The Top)
2. Meredith Miller (TIBCO/To The Top)
3. Modest Vzesniauskaite (Colavita/Baci)
4. Rushlee Buchanan (Colavita/Baci)
5. Melissa Sanborn
Top 5 Men
1. Jeremy Vennell (BISSELL)
2. Andy Jacques-Maynes (BISSELL)
3. Paul Mach (BISSELL)
4. Ben Jacques-Maynes (BISSELL)
5. Rob Britton (BISSELL)