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2011 Team Introduction: Team TIBCO - To The Top
 
By Bart Hazen
Date: 1/15/2011
2011 Team Introduction: Team TIBCO - To The Top
 

2011 Team Introduction: Team TIBCO - To The Top
Introduction of the American UCI Team TIBCO- To The Top with a.o. Tara Whitten, Erinne Willock, Joelle Numainville, Joanne Kiesanowski and Meredith Miller.

The American Team TIBCO- To The Top of manager Linda Jackson turns into it's second season as a UCI Team. Team TIBCO is a family of three teams – the Team TIBCO UCI team, San Francisco-based Team TIBCO II amateur team, and Team TIBCO Juniors – totaling nearly 50 women. The team’s mission is to provide a long-term platform for its riders to reach their full potential in local, national and international competitions, while serving as role models for youth across America to pursue a life of health and fitness. The junior riders have amassed 20 national titles before their arrival to the team.

The multi-pronged team has acquired a Canadian accent with the addition of Canada’s “best in class female bicycle racers.” The trifecta acquisition includes: Joelle Numainville (current Canadian National Road Race Champion), Tara Whitten (current Commonwealth Games Road Time Trial Champion and Track World Omnium Champion) and Erinne Willock (former Road and Time Trial Canadian Champion).

Team TIBCO-To The Top
Team TIBCO-To The Top at the GP Stad Roeselare in 2010. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

No worries America, the team remains committed to nurturing U.S. born riders too. New to the team, Alison Powers will bring her time trial prowess and her criterium dizzying speed. This is coupled with returning riders Samantha Schneider, Meredith Miller and Megan Guarnier. These riders will clearly keep the competition at bay with their ability to read races, sprint and muscle their way to the podium.

2010 season
Team TIBCO-To The Top had a very succesful season in it's first season as a UCI-registered team. The team got an early boost when Ruth Corset took an impressive victory in the Australian Road Race Championships with help of her teammate Emma Mackie. A great start to the season and a moral boost for the team for the upcoming races. In the Tour of New Zealand both Corset and Kiesanowski did well with some podium places in stages.

In the end of March the team opened the NRC series at the Redlands Classics. The team showed its strenghts by earning several podium finisheds in the stage-race. After Redlands the team came to Europe for a full calendar of racing until the Tour de L'Aude including the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the races and the World Cup in Drenthe, the Ronde van Gelderland, Fleche Wallonne and the GP Stad Roeselare. For most of the riders (Guarnier and Haskell) coming over to Europe was a great learning experience. The team also collected some remarkable results with Brooke Miller finishing in sixth at the Drenthe World Cup and fourth in the Ronde van Gelderland. In the Fleche Wallonne Ruth Corset was part of the decisive break and one of the best riders in the race but a crash four kilometers before the finish prevent her ambitions for a good result.

Team TIBCO-To The TopTeam TIBCO-To The Top
Emma Mackie (L) and Joanne Kiesanowski (R) Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

A few days later Joanne Kiesanowski made up some things with a seventh place in the GP Stad Roeselare. The European campaign came to an at the largest stage race in Europe, the Tour de L'Aude in the beginning of May. Brooke Miller took the red sprinter's jersey early in the race and defended her lead succesfully. While one part of the team was riding in Europe the other part competed in the American national races and with success. Amanda Miller too the opening criterium at the very important Sea Otter Classic while Rebecca Much placed third in the road race the day after. The concluding race was won by newly recuit Alison Powers. Throughout the next weeks the team gained lots of good results with Meredith Miller finishing 8th overall in the Tour of the Gila and 4th overall in the Joe Martin Stage race where Amanda Miller finished in third overall. At the same time, Samantha Schneider competed solo in the USA Crits Speedweek. She finished second in the Athens Twilight race and was constantly in the top 10 of the other races.

Halfway through the season (in June) when the "European Team" was back in the States the team was up for some racing in Tulsa Tough and the Liberty Classic in Philly. Amanda Miller did well in Tulsa by winning a stage and second place in another stage. In Philly Brooke Miller finished in fourth, Ruth Corset took the KOM jersey and the team had four riders in the decisive break. One week ahead Brooke Miller won the Clarendon Cup in Alexandria. This win was the last one of her career. Miller decided to end her impressive career at the end of the season. In the sane month Alison Starnes finished in third at the Chrono Gatineau near the hometown Ottawa of manager Linda Jackson. A few days later Starnes won the opening prologue of the Nature Valley Grand Prix and the leader's jersey of the race. In the remaining of the stage race affected by severe storms and tornado warnings Ruth Corset finished third overall, the team took the overal title and Brooke Miller finished a few times on the podium in consecutive stages.

Team TIBCO-To The Top
Megan Guarnier gained some good experience while riding in Europe. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

At the same time a part of the team was competing at the Tour de Nez were Megan Guarnier supported by Devon Haskell, Kristen LaSasso and Sam Schneider won the opening prologue. Devon Haskell made it a one-two by finishing second. In the days after Guarnier gathered a few secod places but was able to secure the overall win. She was also second in the Nevada City Classic behind Katerina Nash. Joanne Kiesanowski continued the strong performances of the team to win a stage in the Cascade Classic and taking third in the Presbyterian Invitational in early August. Aside from the progression of riders like Guarnier, Schneider, Haskell and others TIBCO launched a junior team in early September. “This was something I’d wanted to do for several years,” Jackson said on the teams website. “When I connected with Rob Jensen, who’s a locally based cycling coach, everything just fell into place to get it started.”

In July Ruth Corset returned to Europe to take part in the Tour de Limousin for the national team in which she finished in second overall. In September she also finished as third overall in the Tour de L'Ardeche. Joanne Kiesanowski and Samantha Schneider shined in the Chris Thater Memorial with Schneider taking the win and Kiesanowski coming in third place. The latter one ended her season with a fourt place in the Commonwealth Games road race. Amanda Miller was selected for the USA national team to compete in the Holland Ladies Tour and the Worlds in Geelong Australia to gain valuable experience resulting in a contract with HTC-Columbia for the 2011 season.

For more of the 2010 season highlights click on the links in the 2011 roster...

Team TIBCO-To The Top
Brooke Miller one of the most succesful riders of the team decided to retire as a professional cyclist at the end of the 2010 season. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

2011 season
The team for 2011 has changed a lot with the arrival of Canadians Joëlle Numainville, Track world champion and Commonwealth Games Time Trial Gold Medalist Tara Whitten and Erinne Willock and the arrivals of Carmen Small, Alison Powers, Carlee Taylor and youngster Kendall Ryan. Contrary to that Ruth Corset, Devon Haskell, Jerika Hutchinson, Kristen LaSasso, Rebecca Much, Amanda Miller and Alison Starnes left the team. Brooke Miller retired from professional cycling.

Most important, the Team TIBCO UCI squad will head over to Europe again for several World Cups and some stage racing. The Team will also be welcoming a number of important new sponsors among them Specialized, Reynolds and Maxxis, which will help the team to perform at the highest level along with SRAM and ControlTech. Dr. Vie Superfoods and FRS will provide added energy, while Strava and Testarossa Vineyards will provide additional support.

In 2011 all will be focused on the 2012 Olympic Games in London as the team has a number of riders with the potential to participate in this event. But the team is also looking beyond 2012 toward 2016 with riders as Kendall Ryan for example and the Juniors team. Important is that they will be sending riders to the World Championships in order to compete against the Worlds best riders and to gain valuable experience.

Team TIBCO-To The Top
The team had a very good first season as UCI team both in Europe and the USA. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

The goals for 2011 is to do well in the European and American races and to bring home at least one US national jersey and Canadian national jersey. The main goal is to make sure that each rider is getting what she needs from the team to achieve her potential.

The team started the season already very well with their Australian newcomer Carlee Taylor. Carlee was seventh overall in the road race at the Australian National Championships in Ballerat but was the first U23 rider securing the U23 national title. She also took the bronze medal in the time trial nationals. The rest of the team will start its season in the Tour of Qatar early February or in the Merced races in the end of the month. The first big races of the season will be the World Cup Trofeo Binda and the Redlands Classic in the end of March and the Tour of Flanders and the races in Drenthe, the Netherlands in April.

2011 Roster:
1 GUARNIER Megan
2 KIESANOWSKI Joanne
3 MACKIE Emma
4 MCNELLIS (SMALL) Carmen
5 MILLER Meredith
6 NUMAINVILLE Joëlle
7 POWERS Alison
8 RYAN Kendall
9 SCHNEIDER Samantha
10 TAYLOR Carlee
11 WHITTEN Tara
12 WILLOCK Erinne
13 WINFIELD Lia

Team TIBCO-To The TopTeam TIBCO-To The Top
New signings Carlee Taylor (L) and Joëlle Numainville (R) Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

New in the team: Carmen Small McNellis (Colavita), Joëlle Numainville (Webcor Builders), Alison Powers (Team Vera Bradley Foundation), Kendall Ryan (Junior), Carlee Taylor (Elite), Tara Whitten (Specialized Mazda Samson) and Erinne Willock (Webcor Builders).

Out of the team: Ruth Corset (Elite), Devon Haskell (Elite), Jerika Hutchinson (Elite), Kristen Lasasso (Elite 2), Amanda Miller (Team HTC-Highroad), Brooke Miller (retires), Rebecca Much (Elite) and Alison Starnes (Peanut Butter & Co. Twenty12)

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