Megan Guarnier won yesterday’s prologue at the Redlands Bicycle Classic. Guarnier is one of the up and coming talents in U.S. women’s racing. Last year, she won the Giro di Toscana. She told me it was purely accidental. She was really trying to win the points jersey. All accidents should be so nice.
Meredith Miller is a former U.S. national champion, and usually rides as road captain for Team Tibco. Miller is the kind of strong, calm rider who holds a team together and who routinely sacrifices her own ambitions for the team’s successes. Miller is taking a break after a long cross season, but she took the time to write Megan a letter. It’s lovely. Really, just go read it.
Toscana wasn’t an easy Tour to win, but you did. I’m confident you know what it takes. You have a strong team around you. Your teammates give you so many cards to play. If you race like a single unit, support one another, keep your teammates motivated and remain comfortable asking for help, the team will come through for you – and you will go home with the yellow jersey on your back.
Guarnier will have her work cut out for her to hold on to the race lead. Amber Neben of Specialized-lululemon is currently second. Ali Powers of NOW is third.
Neben made a wild dash from El Salvador, where she was chasing UCI points. She won the Pan-American time trial championship, and was leading the Tour of El Salvador until a bike-eating monster pothole ended her chances. Neben made it to Redlands in time to grab seven hours of sleep and then, race to a second place. That’s pro, right there.
The women are on the road now racing the second stage, the Beaumont road race.