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A new-look Tibco-To The Top squad is set to kick off the team’s season at the San Dimas Stage Race this week.
“San Dimas is the perfect test ahead of the Redlands Classic,” said new team manager/director Lisa Hunt.
New hires Carmen Small and 2005 overall winner Erinne Willock headline the team’s classification hopes. Under-23 criterium national champ Samantha Schneider is the only returning Tibco rider on the roster and will take on the team’s sprint hopes.
With just three short stages in the tune-up for the National Racing Calendar opener, San Dimas has traditionally seen a tight GC battle. After making the break in the final-stage criterium in 2010, Small wound up fourth in the final classification, just 46 seconds behind Ina Yoko Teutenberg (HTC-Highroad).
“Because of the short distance, the time gaps are usually fairly small at the top of the standings,” Hunt said. “The climb (in stage 2) is challenging, particularly when there are QOM sprints every other lap… We’ve got a strong squad that could win out of a breakaway or a field sprint.”
While Tibco will be hunting confirming results in San Dimas, the team has an eye toward Redlands, which opens just four days later. “The courses offer similar challenges, with the addition of a closing circuit race at Redlands,” said Hunt. “Our girls have been doing some racing at the local level, but I know they’re all ready to stretch their legs a bit and get back to racing with their teammates… And we should start to get a pretty good idea of how things are going to shake out domestically in the next couple weeks.”
Team TIBCO-To the Top for the San Dimas Stage Race
- Samantha Schneider, USA
- Carmen Small, USA
- Carlee Taylor, AUS
- Jennifer Wheeler, USA
- Erinne Willock, CAN
- Tara McCormick, USA
- Alexis Ryan, USA
- Director: Lisa Hunt