St. Martin D'Ardeche, FR - Australian National Champion Ruth Corset of Team TIBCO/To the Top concluded a highly successful Tour Cycliste Feminin International De L'Ardeche in France this weekend, finishing 3rd overall while winning the QoM competition as well as the second-stage individual time trial.

The race for the overall title took shape early on in the five-day, six stage race when Sharon Laws (Cervelo Test Team) and Vicki Whitlaw (Lotto Ladies Team) finished 1:41 ahead of the peloton on Stage 1, with Laws taking the victory. Corset, racing with the Australian National Team, inserted herself into the podium picture when she won the 3.5 km Stage 2 individual time trial, putting her in 3rd overall, while Whitlaw and Laws switched places at the top of the standings.

During the race's third stage, Corset took hold of the Queen of the Mountains jersey by virtue of topping out first over the Col de Benas, the third and highest climb of the stage.

Corset further strengthened her grasp on the QoM jersey during Stage 4, the queen stage of the Tour, taking maximum points on the first two climbs of the day, while placing 2nd on the final two climbs en route to earning a fine 4th place on the stage.

Corset had little trouble holding the jersey and her 3rd overall over the final two stages of the race, while Whitlaw and Laws both held the top two positions on GC.

Team TIBCO and SVB team up for honors at Best Buddies Challenge
Members of Team TIBCO, Team TIBCO II and the Team TIBCO Juniors squad helped team sponsor Silicon Valley Bank achieve top honors at the Best Buddies Challenge along the California coast this weekend. BBC is a major fundraising event for the intellectually disadvantaged, spearheaded b California First Lady Maria Shriver.

Megan Guarnier and Brooke Miller of Team TIBCO, Jill Eyres and Dan Friedman of Team TIBCO II and Katrina Howard and Claire Jensen from the Juniors squad all rode the event, along with members of SVB.

"This was the seventh annual event and it was the biggest yet," said Team TIBCO Director Linda Jackson. "We had another fantastic experience again this year, and we're already looking ahead to 2011."

Photo: William Meertens