Megan Guarnier of Team TIBCO took 2nd in today’s hilly Stage 4 road race at the Trophee d’Or in central France. Guarnier now stands 4th overall, just 12 seconds behind the race leader. Lauren Hall took 10th place in today’s stage.
“The riders have been fearless racing in this international peloton,” said the Team’s European directeur sportif Angela van Smoorenburg. “They have been working really well together and racing assertively, as has been reflected in the results.”
Today’s 101-kilometer race included six categorized climbs, five of which were in the first 60 kilometers of the course. Early escapees were caught by a strong chase from the field. Bad luck struck the Team when Guarnier went down in a crash about 45 kilometers into the race. With 2 minutes lost on the field, teammates Meredith Miller and Hall waited up for their GC leader and chased furiously to bring Guarnier back into the peloton.
As the bunch headed into the finishing 5.3-kilometer circuit, Hall took off in a breakaway of five riders. It looked like the group of five might hold it to the line. Despite the narrow and technical circuit, the riders were caught in the final 3 kilometers and the finish came down to a bunch sprint. U.S. National Champion Guarnier delivered an impressive acceleration to second place behind reigning World Champion Giorgia Bronzini. Hall had enough gas to come in 10th.
The Trophee d’Or is heating up with Team TIBCO vying for spots on the podium. The Team has consistently put up top results. Guarnier has placed in the top ten in every stage so far at the Trophee d’Or.
Guarnier placed 5th in Stage 1, in spite of a late crash that disrupted the Team’s leadout. The Team worked seamlessly in Stage 2 as they contested the Team Time Trial where they took 3rd, just 7 seconds behind the leaders. In feverish temperatures reaching over 100 degrees, Team TIBCO was still capable of delivering Guarnier to 8th in the Stage 2b Road Race, and 7th in Stage 3. Amanda Miller led the Queen of the Mountains competition into Stage 4, wearing the coveted QOM polka-dot jersey in Monday’s stage.
Two more stages remain at the Trophee d’Or. At 118.3 kilometers, Stage 5 will be the longest of the stages, though mostly flat with three categorized climbs. Stage 6 will close the race with a flat, 85.4-kilometer T-shaped loop.