Professional women's team Tibco has started off the season in an exceptionally successful way. Last weekend marked the "official" kick-off of the cycling season, with the first two races on the National Racing Calendar (NRC); the Merco Credit Grand Prix and the Merco Credit Road Race. Team Tibco's sprint champion Brooke Miller won both events, and the team is now leading the national rankings.
Miller has won all five races she has entered since the season began. In addition to the Merco races last weekend, Miller won the Bay Front Criterium, Cherry Pie Criterium, and Santa Clarita Criterium in February, and also placed second in the Central Valley Classic Road Race and fourth in the Central Valley Classic Criterium in March.
At the Merco Credit Union Grand Prix on March 3, Miller started the sprint form far away, but was able to pull through until the finish line. "The lead outs swung wide to the right and up the road, I could see T-Mobile starting to peel off from their fast lead out," she recalled. "I jumped hard on the left and started to move up. I had no other options. I sprinted from way back and was just focused on getting up the road. I could see that I was closing, but did not know if I had enough room. I just dug deep and tried to pull out all the power I could muster. In the end, I nipped T-Mobile’s Suzanne de Goede at the line."
The sprint finish of the Merco Credit Union Road Race one day later unfolded differently. "I was focused on using wheels to move up," Miller said. "I tried to get behind Colavita’s Mackinzie Dickie, hoping to get her to lead me out with her own great sprint. Time was running out and I had to go. I jumped around 300m and looked ahead to the line. I saw Sara Caravalla to my right and the line in front of me. I was able to dig a little bit deeper. This time, I knew that I had won, but only by inches."