Team TIBCO/To the Top is set for the biggest one-day race in America – the Liberty Classic in Philadelphia Sunday – with one of the strongest rosters the Team has ever assembled for the race.
On Sunday, the women will traverse four laps of the famed 14.4-mile circuit around Philadelphia, taking in the vaunted Manayunk Wall and Lemon Hill.
The race can be a bit unpredictable,” said Team Captain Meredith Miller. “Though we race in the morning, weather can still be a factor, and the pace and tactics will determine how big a group comes to the line in the end.”
Last year, a group of about 20 came to the line together, with strong representation from Team TIBCO in the front group. Team Directeur Sportif/Manager Lisa Hunt noted that the team will be looking to repeat that show of force this year, with an eye on taking the top step on the podium.
“We’ve come close several times,” she said. “A couple years ago, Joanne Kiesanowski was 2nd. We’ve been on the podium before and we know what we have to do to get there again.”
This year, the Team squares off against one of the deepest fields in the history of the race, with possibly its strongest roster ever. “This is going to be an incredibly competitive race, with a deep field that includes World Champion Georgia Bronzini (Colavita-D’Asolo).”
The Team will look to one of its rising stars as a top candidate for the podium this year. Canadian Joelle Numainville comes into the race on the heels of some very strong results, including taking 2nd to Bronzini at the GP Gatineau two weekends ago. That result followed a pair of wins in races in St. Louis the weekend before.
“Joelle is going really well right now and we’ll likely be riding for her,” Miller said. “But we have a very deep roster for the race, and Jo’s done well here before. Depending on how things play out, any one of us good be in contention.”
In addition to Numainville, Miller and Kiesanowski, Team TIBCO will also have Carmen Small, Emma Mackie and Megan Guarnier on the start line. Small is returning to form after being derailed for a bit following a crash at the Tour of the Gila a month ago, while Guarnier has been consistently strong throughout the spring, taking a stage win and finishing 2nd overall at the Joe Martin Stage Race a few weeks ago.
“Philly is exciting every year,” Hunt said. “It’s a hard race, and we’ll be doing our best to make it harder on everyone.”
Team TIBCO/To the Top for the Liberty Classic
- Megan Guarnier, USA
- Joanne Kiesanowski, NZL
- Emma Mackie, AUS
- Meredith Miller, USA
- Joelle Numainville, CAN
- Carmen Small, USA