Gelderland, The Netherlands – Megan Guarnier of Team TIBCO/To the Top once again showed she’s not only one of the top Americans racing in the world right now, but one of the top women overall. Guarnier parlayed good teamwork and good positioning to earn a hard-fought 3rd place at the Ronde van Gelderland in The Netherlands Sunday.
“It was good to get on the podium today,” said the Team’s European Directeur Sportif, Angela van Smoorenberg. “Everyone has been racing very hard over here this spring and it’s good for the Team to get such a strong result.”
Guarnier was part of a six-rider break that formed late in the race, with just about 14 km to go. Leading up to that point, the full six-rider Team TIBCO squad had ridden superbly to remain at the front.
“After 20 km there was a big crash, with Jennifer Wheeler and Lauren Hall involved,” van Smoorenberg said. “They both had road rash on their arms and legs, but were able to get back in the race. The crash was just before the hills, and because the commissars neutralized the race for 5 km, the riders did not contest the first two hills.”
When racing did resume, the hills immediately became a factor. By hill number four, the peloton had split into three groups on the road, with all six Team TIBCO riders in the front group of 60. After the last hill the situation was the same, with all six TIBCO riders in the first bunch. With the wind a constant factor, the other groups never came back to the front. With strong headwinds, the peloton stayed together for much of the race until hitting a decisive crosswind section with 14 km to go.
At this point, the winning break including Guarnier formed and would hold a solid gap until the finish, despite a strong chase from several teams that missed out. In the sprint, former Dutch champion Suzanne de Goede took the win ahead of former European champion Chantal Blaak.
“Megan was in good position but the other two riders were very strong,” van Smoorenberg said. “But this is a very good result ahead of Wednesday’s Fleche Wallone World Cup. The girls are racing very well together and it should be a great race.”
Ryan takes solid 5th at Presbyterian Invitational
Young sprinter Kendall Ryan took a strong 5th place at the Presbyterian Invitational in Charlotte, NC Saturday. Against a top domestic field, Ryan rode strongly to remain in the front group of a peloton that steadily disintegrated under the pace at the front of the race. By the end of the race, only about 25 of the 57 riders who started the race were near the front to contest the sprint, including Team TIBCO teammates Meredith Miller, Lindsay Myers, and Kendal's younger sister Alexis. The race was won by Nichole Wangsgard ahead of top domestic sprinter Theresa Cliff-Ryan.