Brooke Miller of Team TIBCO/To the Top took a strong sprint victory at the Clarendon Cup Saturday. Miller out-sprinted veteran Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) and Erica Allar (Team Vera Bradley) for the win at the end of the 50-lap, 50 km race.
But Miller said, “today was the Emma Mackie show. Emma raced phenomenally. We came into today trying to be patient and not attack a lot, but cover moves. Emma must have covered at least half the moves that went, and she attacked a few times herself.”
“Once we started, I knew I had good legs,” Mackie said. “I have good form coming off of Tour de l’Aude, and I was excited to race today.”
But Mackie may have proved most valuable at the end of the race. With five laps to go, the five riders from Team TIBCO had control of the front of the race. “The last five laps the team rode flawlessly,” Miller said.
Devon Haskell and Kristen LaSasso had been on the front keeping the pace high to discourage attacks. In the closing laps, Mackie, Samantha Schneider and Miller were fighting to stay on the front. “There was a lot of swarming,” Miller noted.
Coming into the last lap, Colavita-Baci began to set up a lead-out for their sprinter, Theresa Cliff-Ryan. But with half a lap to go, Mackie hit out with Schneider and Miller on her wheel. Coming into the second to last corner, Van Gilder moved Schneider off Mackie’s wheel, putting Miller behind van Gilder, with Cliff-Ryan on Miller’s wheel. Mackie peeled off and Miller jumped around van Gilder. Then with 150 meters to go, Cliff-Ryan went and she and Miller were side by side.
“I thought it would be a drag race between us to the line,” Miller said. “But the pavement was pretty bad and it looked like Theresa hit a rough spot and I think she got bounced toward me. We bumped and Theresa went down.”
Miller avoided the Colavita sprinter and kept driving for the line, taking a clear victory from van Gilder. Race officials reviewed the sprint immediately after the finish and quickly ruled that there were no violations and the result stood.