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14th Merco Merced Classic Women's Report
By Staff
Date: 3/5/2007
14th Merco Merced Classic Women's Report

14th Merco Merced Classic Women's Report
A Classic "Double Double" Weekends For TIBCO's Brooke Miller in the Merco Merced Classic weekend!

Pre race:

Linda Jackson and team leader Brooke Miller go over team tactics for the criterium. Brooke gave an animated account (photos 1, 2, 3) of while the riders listened attentively to what could expected during the days criterium while they warmed up and were fitted with radios Photos c. Vaughn Trevi

As expected the days action got off to a fast start in the 40 lap (.8 mile) with the new pro and elite teams testing the legs of the top pro riders in their first NRC race of the season. T-Mobile was out to soften the pack up for their sprinter Suzanne De Goede; Chantal Beltman and Kim Anderson traded role's as the rabbits for the peloton to chase; TEAM Lipton, Cheerwine, TIBCO and Webcor made their presence felt at the front of affairs chasing back the Magenta charge and making a few attempts of their own to leave the peloton behind.

Alas, all attempts were chased back and no magic mix of competitors was allowed to get more than a few seconds gap without T-Mobile or the other teams bringing the gap back. T-Mobile only relented on the attacks during the primes aiming for the finish to put Suzanne in position to win the final sprint, but it wasn't an original idea as the other teams played the same tactic. With two laps to go TEAm Lipton led the pace but this only led to stringing the women out with the pace. Two crashes ensued one putting last years winner Laura Charameda (Advil Chapstick) out of contention for the final sprint.

In the final approach to the finish it was Brooke Miller of TIBCO powering from 15th position to nip Suzanne de Goode of T-Mobile and pocket rocket Lara Kroepsch (TEAm Lipton) at the line. Brooke fresh off two wins in the bay area last weekend only had the road race to conquer on Saturday to make it a "double-double" on two consecutive weekends for her start to the season.

Brooke Miller nips Suzanne de Goode and Lara Kroepsh

Podium: Lara Kroepsch, Brooke Miller and Suzanne de Goede
Photo c. vaughn Trevi

Women Elite 1/2/Pro
1 Miller Brooke Team TIBCO
2 de Goede Suzanne T-Mobile Team - Women
3 Kroepsch Lara TEAm Lipton

4 Bradshaw Elis Metromint Cycling
5 Gauthier Shontell Team Ultralink

6 Dickey Mackenzie Colavita/ Sutter Home
7 Uhl Sarah Cheerwine
8 Alexander Alexis Team Tibco
9 Lyons Brenda TEAm Lipton
10 Brown Courtenay ValueAct Capital Cycling Team

One lap to go Webcor and Miller (braids) lead the field up the final climb.
©Kurt Jambretz/Action Images

Saturday's race started in the cool of the Merced foothills but as the sun rose the race heated up as quickly as the sunny windless day did. Attacks were on the second lap had a breakaway gaining ground but it was brought back as the riders hit the final rollers in the last ten kilometres. No breaks succeeded in the long and heated battle as the gruppo hit the final climb (minus a few victims of earlier crashes)up the Merced River escarpment in the final 5 kms... once again Tibco's Brooke Miller proved to have the fastest legs in the battle of the sprinters in the final slightly down hill sprint to the finish coming around Sarah Carvella, Lauren Franges and Chantal Beltman of T-Mobile for the win.

Next meeting of the ladies will be the Central Valley Classic next Friday.

Tibco's  Brooke Miller crosses the line ©Kurt Jambretz/Action Images

1 Miller Brooke Team TIBCO
2 Caravella Sarah Aaron's Pro Cycling Team
3 Franges Lauren Team Lipton
(results continued below)

Chantal Beltman, one lap to go  ©Kurt Jambretz/Action Images

Value Act Capital Team Report
The ValueAct Capital Womenís Cycling Team kicked of the racing season this weekend, with their debut at the first National Racing Calendar event, the MERCO Cycling Classic in Merced, CA. With sunny skies and mild temperatures in the forecast, the women were ready to challenge the top women cyclists in the country.

The racing began on Saturday, with the Downtown Grand Prix, presented by McLane Pacific. The 40 lap criterium, with its many turns and a chicane, brought out all of the top teams in the country, including TEAM Lipton, T-Mobile, Webcor, Aaronís, Cheerine and TIBCO. Local rider Martina Patella set a quick tempo on the first lap, and the aggressive racing began in earnest. Small breaks would form, which were always represented by the VAC women, but nothing seemed to stick. Lipton tried to organize a lead out with three laps to go, but was not successful. Unfortunately, a series of two crashes in the last laps forced Patella to brake hard to avoid the crash, but she never caught back up to the group for the final sprint. In the end, it was Brooke Miller from TIBCO winning the sprint. VACís Courtenay Brown took 9th in the hotly contested sprint, with Taitt Sato in 13th place.

Sundayís Foothills Road Race was held amongst the beautiful almond tree farms, northeast of Merced. The ValueAct Capital Cycling Team raced aggressively and strong in 115.8 kilometer race. The course features many rolling hills, and is often windy, and has proved to be very favorable for breakaways in previous years. Since the weather was warm and the winds were mild, the ValueAct Capital team was at the front most of the race to cover attacks and be present in breakaways. Sharon Allpress led the pack in a break-away approaching the first set of rollers, showing the ValueAct Capital strength and attentiveness early in the day. Unfortunately, she was caught in a large crash shortly after the breakaway was absorbed by the field and she never regained contact. The team continued to ride strong, and was represented in every breakaway for the remainder of the day. The field was all together for the final sprint, with Brooke Miller taking her 2nd win of the weekend. Taitt Sato fought for position against some of the best sprinters in the world and finished 7th in the high speed sprint.  Next weekend, the team travels to Fresno, for the Central Valley Classic Stage Race.

The ValueAct Capital Cycling Team is managed under the umbrella of Momentum Sports Group, LLC, which also manages the Health Net p/b Maxxis Cycling Team. Additional sponsors include Serotta Competition Bicycles, the Dubai International Financial Exchange, Reynolds, Speedplay, Rudy Project, Ritchey, Maxxis, fi'z:ik, Beljium Budder, Capoforma, Cytosport and the U.S. Womenís Cycling Development Program.

ValueAct Capital is one of the premiere value-investing firms in the United States, taking large ownership positions in publicly-traded companies and then working closely with company management to generate strong returns. ValueAct Capital is excited to sponsor a dedicated, talented cycling team that embodies the firmís own work ethic and drive for success

Merced Classic Foothill Road Race
1 Miller Brooke Team TIBCO 196453
2 Caravella Sarah Aaron's Pro Cycling Team USA19790531
3 Franges Lauren Team Lipton B0103456

4 Beltman Chantal T-Mobile Team - Women NED19760825
5 Olds Shelley PROMAN/Paradigm 226087
6 Dickey Mackenzie Colavita/ Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light USA19820914
7 Sato Taitt ValueAct Capital Cycling Team 177141
8 Yoisten Laura Webcor Builders CAN19830810
9 McLaughlin Jill Touchstone Climbing B0183828
10 Webb Anna AE Sport Development USA19840606
11 Beltran Michelle Bicycle John's Serious Cycling 193142
12 Benjamin Kelly Cheerwine USA19750507
13 Thorburn Christine Webcor Builders B0141582
14 Tillotson Sarah Colavita/ Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light USA19770423
15 Uhl Sarah Cheerwine USA19830801
16 McCullough Caitlyn Team TIBCO 229392
17 Gauthier Shontell Team Ultralink 80726
18 Wilson Jennifer SouthBay Wheelmen 210833
19 DRUMM Kristin PROMAN/Paradigm B0000661
20 Staroba Ashlee Eastside Cycles / Scott 167662
21 Dvorak Andrea Colavita/ Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light USA19801009
22 Sanders Kristin Aaron's Pro Cycling Team USA19710521
23 Carroll Katharine Aaron's Pro Cycling Team USA19810309
24 Patella Martina ValueAct Capital Cycling Team 195334
25 RACHETTO Liza Team TIBCO B0145511
26 Cooper Abby Lyn PROMAN/Paradigm 204975
27 Vidaca Kara Bicycle John's Serious Cycling 170647
28 Brown Courtenay ValueAct Capital Cycling Team 207584
29 Curi Katheryn Webcor Builders B161894
30 Lyons Brenda Team Lipton
31 Bastide Victoria Team TIBCO 234836
32 Powers Catherine Aaron's Pro Cycling

full results:

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