Team TIBCO is set to challenge the Joe Martin Stage Race in Arkansas which starts today and lasts through Sunday. Team captain and former U.S. National Champion Meredith Miller will lead a seven-rider squad in one of the nation’s top National Racing Calendar (NRC) races. All-rounders Lauren Hall, Jennifer Wheeler and Jennifer Purcell will be joined by GC specialist and Olympic long team member Amanda Miller. Young sprinters Samantha Schneider and Kendall Ryan round out the roster.
“Our main goal is to win the General Classification, along with stage wins and podiums,” said Team TIBCO European directeur sportif Angela van Smoorenburg. “We have a very balanced team here that can go for the win.”
Over the next four days, the riders will be put to the test as they contest a time trial, two hilly road stages, and a criterium. While there is plenty of climbing, Joe Martin is not a climber’s race. It can be won – or lost – on time bonuses.
Along with cycling veteran Miller helping direct the squad, many of the riders come in following strong performances with valuable experience gained while in Europe. After taking overall victory at the Redlands Classic earlier this spring, Team TIBCO aims to stay on top of the overall NRC team standings.
Joe Martin opens Thursday with a 2.5-mile uphill time trial with an average grade of nearly 7 percent. Friday, the riders take off for 64 miles of rolling terrain, climbing over 3,500 feet. The finishing straight of Stage 2 is sure to be exciting as it kicks up to 6 percent in the final 350 meters to the line. Saturday offers up another rolling 63-mile road stage, featuring 1,500 feet of climbing per 23-mile lap. Sunday will close the event with a 55-minute technical criterium.