Sharlotte Lucas Winning the Oceania Road Championships. Photo Credits: Grant Viney Photography
Racing simultaneously on three continents, Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank scored seven spots on the podium last weekend: a victory in the Oceania Road Championships, 2nd and 3rd overall and multiple podium finishes at the 35th Annual Redlands Bicycle Classic.
In Tasmania, Sharlotte Lucas (NZL) defended her title at the Oceania Road Championships, making it back-to-back victories for Lucas in the race.
In the final 200 meters, Lucas unleashed her sprint in a reduced pack sprint, edging past Australian Sarah Gigante. On her finish, Lucas said, “I am super happy with this win. The course suited me well; it’s quite technical coming around that last corner and uphill. Sarah Gigante, the current Australian National Champion, got a decent gap coming around the final corner, so I had to work to close the gap and get over the line in first.”
Meanwhile, in Southern California, the team competed in the Redlands Bicycle Classic, a five day stage race that began with a time trial (ITT) and concluded on the iconic laps of the Sunset Road Race. Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank kicked off the event with two podiums in the ITT - Lauren Stephens (USA) in 2nd and Emily Newsom (USA) in 3rd. Stephens sprinted onto the podium again at the City of Highland Circuit Race.
On the final day, Stephens bridged up to the breakaway group, which included guest rider, Emily Marcolini (CAN). From there, Stephens launched a heroic effort to try to build the gap to take over the GC, managing to edge into 2nd place overall (3rd for the stage), with Newsom rounding out the overall podium.
Stephens said, “On Sunday, Rachel gave us the choice to go for the overall GC or protect the position we had. All week, I was fighting allergies and managing an injury I’ve had for over a year in my upper thigh. I gave everything I had every day to achieve the team’s plan each stage of the race. By the final day, I was ready to settle and protect our team’s 2nd place GC with Emily. But the team wanted to fight for the win. It was their enthusiasm and dedication that gave me the strength on Sunday. We may not have taken over the lead, but after the race it felt like we had.”
“I am proud of how the team is coming together and performing while racing around the world,” said Linda Jackson, Founder of Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank. “It is thanks to our incredible partners and team support that we are able to successfully run a full racing program in North America, while also competing in the majority of WWT races around the globe.”
Next up, the team will be racing Trofeo Alfredo Binda – Comune di Cittiglio in Italy on March 24. In the USA, Joe Martin Stage Race (April 4-7) will be the team’s next challenge.