The last two years, Team TIBCO/To the Top has brought home three U.S. National Champion’s jerseys: Brooke Miller doing the double with criterium and road in 2008, and Meredith Miller on the road in 2009. For 2010, the full compliment of American riders is in Bend to try and keep the streak alive, starting Thursday with the time trial.
This year, Team TIBCO has one of the top contenders in Alison Starnes. Still barely two years into her elite cycling career, she’s shown an aptitude for races against the clock. She’s also shown that her form is peaking for nationals after winning the opening time trial of the Nature Valley Grand Prix a week ago.
“I’ve been practicing and building on my experience in time trials,” Starnes said after her NVGP win. She’s also been benefiting from training plans from her new coach, former world and Olympic time trial champion Kristin Armstrong.
Other Team TIBCO riders competing in the time trial on the hilly, 35 km course will be Rebecca Much and Meredith Miller.
The full contingent of nine U.S. riders will contest the criterium and road championships Friday and Sunday, respectively.
For the criterium, if it comes down to a bunch sprint, Team TIBCO will likely be working for 2008 national crit champion Brooke Miller, but will also have 2009 U23 criterium champion Samantha Schneider in the mix. The race will be held on a 1.3 km course in Bend.
Team TIBCO will be looking to run its winning streak to three in the road race, following Meredith Miller’s win last year, and Brooke Miller’s win in 2008.
The 113 km race run on the hilly Aubrey Butte course is naturally selective, as is the sometimes oppressive Oregon heat. Last year’s race was decided by a combination of aggression and attrition that led to a small break deciding the win. The likelihood is high that another break will succeed again this year.
“The team comes to Bend with a lot of confidence,” said Directeur Sportif Emma Rickards. “We had a very good week at Nature Valley, and the girls who were at Tour de Nez come here off of four strong days of racing at altitude. I think everyone is coming in with good form, so it should be an exciting weekend.”
Team TIBCO/To the Top for the U.S. National Championships, June 24-27, 2010:
- Megan Guarnier, USA
- Devon Haskell, USA
- Kristen LaSasso, USA
- Amanda Miller, USA
- Brooke Miller, USA
- Meredith Miller, USA
- Rebecca Much, USA
- Samantha Schneider, USA
- Alison Starnes, USA