Madera, CA - Alison Starnes and Alison Rosenthal of Team TIBCO had a steep task at the Madera Stage Race this past weekend, contending with a strong elite women's field that included full squads from several teams, including Touchstone Climbing.

"With just two of us, we were definitely outnumbered amongst the other teams," Starnes said.

Despite that, both riders posted strong results, with Starnes garnering a 3rd place in the time trial and 2nd in the road race en route to finishing third overall on GC. Rosenthal also took home a 5th place in the opening stage criterium Saturday morning.

"We were going for a stage win in the crit with Ali R.," Starnes explained. "I was supposed to lead her out, but failed to get into the final corner in the front position. She was forced to jump onto another train, and did a great sprinting effort for 5th."

Saturday afternoon, Starnes was going all out for the win in the time trial but had to settle for 3rd, which put her in 3rd on GC, and needing to win Sunday's road race to acquire the time bonus to win the overall GC.

"We rode a smart road race, but once again, we were outnumbered," Starnes said. "Touchstone attacked and drew me out, and I was forced to go a little too early for the sprint at the finish and got nipped at the line."

Starnes still got 2nd place on the stage and took home 3rd overall on GC. Rosenthal was still able to come in with a strong 7th place despite working most of the day for Starnes.

"Ali R covered the moves throughout the race and protected me for the finish," Starnes said, "but I needed to learn some patience.

"We had a successful Team TIBCO race though," she continued. "At the end of the day, TIBCO finished the stage race with a 3rd place overall even though there were just two of us. We had a lot of fun, loved the weather, it was beautiful scenery in Central California this time of year, and we decided we live pretty good lives to get to roll around such awesome places."

The strong racing by both Alisons results in each of them receiving their Category 1 upgrades by the end of the weekend. Congratulations to both rising stars!

In addition to Starnes and Rosenthal contesting the women's race, Brooke Miller and Kat Carroll raced with the men's field for the weekend, adding in the Friday hill climb time trial in addition to the crit, TT and road race.

Miller took 19th in the men's crit Saturday. "Kat tried to lead me out but we got stuffed in the last corner and lost position, so I had bad position for the sprint," Miller said.

Carroll was looking strong in the road race before a flat with 5km to go took her out of contention.

"Both of us got complimented on racing with such good position and the boys were awesome," Miller said. "We had fun!"

Photo (c) J. Jason Mancebo