Team TIBCO finished up the Joe Martin Stage Race Sunday with another podium finish. Madison Track Champion Lauren Hall took third place in the Stage 4 criterium.
After five laps and several attacks, three leaders took off the front of the field. Behind them, a group of four chasers including Hall was followed by the peloton at 30 seconds behind. Nearing the end of the 55-minute race, the leaders strung out to single riders with the chase group in hot pursuit. Hall bridged up to one of the leaders and was able to come around and sprint for third place. Jade Wilcoxson (Optum-KBS) took the win.
Next up, the Team heads to New Mexico May 2 through 6 for the SRAM Tour of the Gila – one of the most challenging races on the National Racing Calendar. Megan Guarnier and Amanda Miller will lead the six-rider squad. Canadian National Champion Veronique Fortin will thrive in the mountains, while Lauren Hall and Lindsay Myers hope to drill it on the flats and sprints. Three-time World Track Champion Tara Whitten will join the squad for the first time this year after competing at Worlds earlier this month.
“Team TIBCO has brought an experienced and strong squad to contest the Tour of the Gila this year,” said the Team’s European directeur sportif Angela van Smoorenburg. “Our goal is to set up one of our riders in GC position, as well as take home stage wins and podium finishes.”
The Tour opens Wednesday with a 73-mile road race from Silver City to Mogollon. The course ends with a category 1 summit finish that pitches up to 19 percent in the final 3 miles. Thursday, the women head into the mountains for a 78-mile road race that begins at 6000 feet.
“Apart from being a hilly, technical and often windy stage race, all of the courses are at altitude which can really take a toll on riders,” said van Smoorenburg. “These races will suit an all-rounder like Megan.”
Thursday the riders will take on a hilly, and often windy, 16.5-mile individual time trial. For Stage 4, the women head to Downtown Silver City for a four-corned criterium that runs counter-clockwise. Sunday concludes the Tour, as the riders head back into the mountains for the final 72-mile road race.