With the help of team mates Amber Rais and Rushlee Buchanan, Brooke Miller easily won the tight bunch sprint finish at the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix on Sunday, June 29th.
Jazz Apple was quite aggressive all race long. With two laps to go Alison Shanks built a 20 second lead before Team TIBCO sent Rais to chase the break down. “With five laps to go Jazz Apple went,” stated Miller. “Linda told us that we needed to bring that break back. Rushlee attacked first…then Amber went. That was great for me because Cheerwine had to chase it. Kelly Benjamin (Cheerwine) had to chase Amber which set me up perfectly. I knew I could fend for myself going into the finish. I needed to make sure I was in a good position. I wanted to be in the top 5 going into that last corner because I did not want to get swarmed or boxed in. With the curves in the backside it’s really easy to get pinched. One of the Vanderkitten riders (Melissa Sanborn) tried to go with about 500 meters….which was perfect. It caused everyone to jump so I didn’t have to worry about get swarmed. Jen McRae (Team Advil/Chapstick) followed….Van Gilder (Cheerwine) followed… Martina Patella (ValueAct Capital) followed….I followed. Coming around that last turn I was following third wheel which was great. The pace was fast so I could relax. Jen McRae then jumped which gave me a perfect bike lane to run. I was really fortunate to have it set up really well for me.”
Brooke Miller (Team TIBCO)
Amber and Rushlee did a fantastic job covering everything so that I could just sit in. I don’t often get amped or get nervous before a race but today I was like a chicken with its head cut off. It was so nice to have such great team mates to calm me down. I trust that are going to do their job…and sure enough they did. There was a lot of aggression trying to get breaks off. It was a nice and aggressive field with nice and aggressive riders.
Linda Jackson (DS-Team TIBCO)
That was just a fantastic race. We really wanted to set up Amber to win today. Amber was going to try to go early and then she was going to try again with a few laps left to go. Alison Shanks (Jazz Apple)went off the front and Amber single handedly brought back Alison. That was a phenomenal ride by Amber. Brooke owes the win today to both Amber and Rushlee for all of their hard work. They did a fantastic job. Once it was a bunch sprint it was all Brooke. We didn’t care that she was up there alone. Get into a bunch sprint and Brooke can take care of herself.
Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine)
I had three of my team mates with me. We have really been having a good season. Kelly (Benjamin) has been winning a lot. Sarah (Bamberger) has won races. We raced with Ally in
Austin. We thought we had a super strong team. This is always a difficult course to have breakaways get away. Certainly a lot of the teams tried but felt pretty confident in our ability to keep things going our way. With two laps to go, the two rider breakaway definitely put the pressure on us to bring it back. First Sarah tried to get across…then Ally (Brandt ) tried. There was a flurry of activity going into the finish. I thought there was going to be good competition for that sprint finish. I was probably about third, coming into the last corner, behind Jen (McRae) and Brooke (Miller). We kind of remained in that position. It’s still a long way to the finish after that turn. The wind made it a little trickier. It’s always windy here.
Amber Rais (Team TIBCO)
Sometimes on a course like this people can get complacent but it was pretty aggressive with lots of attacks. The attacks made it fun because we could counter and we could chase. Rushlee was very active in the first part of the race covering everything so that we could have gas for the second half. Alison Shanks put in a good move off the front. I knew that we had to bring her back. I didn’t want to go right away because I didn’t want to be towing people. I waited for a few people to start chasing and railed the hairpin turn and just attacked straight out of it to get a gap. I kept that gap and caught her at the backside of the course. The group then caught the both of us at the straight section on the backside. We needed to have that happen for Brooke. Brooke got into a great position.
Rushlee Buchanan (Team TIBCO)
I was just trying to go out and cover for the girls…do the work so that they could race. We only had three people and some teams were out there with six. We just had to go out there, watch and cover. Brooke was patient. She knew what she was doing…it was awesome.
Women Cat 1-2 Final Results:
1 Brooke Miller (Team TIBCO)
2 Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine)
3 Jennifer McRae (Team Advil/Chapstick)
4 Melissa Sanborn (Vanderkitten Racing)
5 Beatriz Rodriguez (Southern California Velo)
6 Martina Patella (ValueAct Capital Cycling Team)
7 Lara Kroepsch (ValueAct Capital Cycling Team)
8 Rebecca Quinn ( South Bay Wheelmen)
9 Melodie Metzger (PROMAN)
10 Rachel Herring (Rock Racing)
All photos by Stephanie Gutowski