In the end of February, I traveled to Carpinteria, California, to attend the Team TIBCO/To the Top preseason training camp. Team TIBCO/To the Top was America's top rated women's cycling squad in 2009, capping off a brilliant season with Meredith Miller's win at the U.S. National Road Championships.
The seaside town of Carpinteria, just south of Santa Barbara, provided the perfect setting for the team's 2010 preparations. With the waves of the Pacific Ocean crashing right out the front door and the warmth of the Southern California sun greeting the riders each day (OK, it rained a few times) the team got down to the business of riding their bikes and building a cohesive unit to take on the best female riders on the planet.
In 2010, the team is looking to increase its presence in European races. Along those lines, the squad has increased its roster to 13 riders. Headlining the team is Brooke Miller, who won both the U.S. National Road and Criterium Championships in 2008. Reigning U23 National Criterium champ Samantha Schneider is new to the team in 2010, as is uber-climber Rebecca Much.
The full roster includes:
- Ruth Corset (AUS)
- Megan Guarnier (USA)
- Devon Haskell (USA)
- Jerika Hutchinson (USA)
- Joanne Kiesanowski (NZ)
- Kristen LaSasso (USA)
- Emma Mackie (AUS)
- Amanda Miller (USA)
- Brooke Miller (USA)
- Meredith Miller (USA)
- Rebecca Much (USA)
- Samantha Schneider (USA)
- Alison Starnes (USA)
I had the opportunity to ride with the team up Gibraltar Road, a nasty 4,000-foot climb above Santa Barbara. I wish I could tell you how well the women climbed, but since they disappeared up the road so quickly and effortlessly, I don't really know!
2009 U.S. National Road Champion Meredith Miller gets her bike dialed by team mechanic Ryan Bontrager.
2008 U.S. National Road and Criterium Champion Brooke Miller demonstrating how she gets it done in the sprints.
New to the team in 2010 are Samantha Schneider, Devon Haskell and Emma Mackie.
Rebecca Much and Amanda Miller are two of the team's new climbers.
Devon, Meredith, Megan Guarnier, Jerika Hutchinson, Rebecca and Bruce Hildenbrand 4,000 feet above Santa Barbara after climbing Gibraltar Road.
Bruce Hildenbrand is a freelance journalist covering cycling and a host of other outdoor-related sports. Find the latest news, rumors and more on his Active Expert blog. He splits his time between Mountain View, California, Boulder, Colorado, and Europe.
All photos by Bruce Hildenbrand.