Megan Guarnier of Team TIBCO/To the Top took advantage of an excellent team effort to win the 2012 U.S. National Road Race Championship today. Guarnier led home a depleted and strung out field, with her teammate Lauren Hall celebrating a couple bike lengths behind Guarnier in 2nd place.
“All of us are incredibly proud of Megan’s hard work and accomplishments for both Team TIBCO and the U.S. National team this year,” said Linda Jackson, team owner.
That teamwork started when Team TIBCO’s Amanda Miller helped instigate the main break of the day about 7 km into the race. The break of 10 also included Alexis Ryan, the Team TIBCO junior racing her for the fourth straight day after winning the Junior road race and criterium national championships and finishing on the podium in the time trial.
This break would stay off the front for four trips around the 13-mile circuit in Augusta. By the time the move was caught with one lap to go, Miller had whittled the group down to four through her attacking. The main pack was down to about 40 riders thanks to the high pace of the chase on the second to last trip up the finishing climb that comes with 1 km to go in the circuit.
“Going into the climb, I was on Ali Powers’ wheel on the right side,” Guarnier said. “Lauren and Sam were on the left side with Lindsay Myers leading them out. Janel Holcombe went to the front and strung things out and my path opened up a bit more. Optum was leading out Carmen (Small) so I jumped on her wheel and then Lauren found my wheel. When the road flattened out with 300 meters to go I went with Lauren on my wheel.” And that’s how the duo finished, with Sam Schneider taking 5th and the U23 Jersey.
“This was a very satisfying win,” said Team TIBCO European Directeur Sportif Angela van Smoorenberg. “One of my goals in directing is to get the riders to race well as a team and today they did. Everyone rode great and worked together like they did in the criterium. We didn’t want to race for the bunch sprint today and we were able to take advantage of Amanda being up in the break. Lauren rode very strong again today. She was focused on nationals and she showed that she was good when she finished a very close second in the criterium.”