Merced, CA - The 2010 season got off to a strong start for Team TIBCO. Ten riders went straight from its training camp near Santa Barbara to Merced, CA to open its season with the Snelling Road Race and Merced Criterium this weekend. They cam away with two wins, as well as two more podiums.

Rebecca Much opened the weekend with a strong win in Snelling, leading a Team TIBCO charge that saw the team take four of the top five places, with Devon Haskell finishing 3rd. Kristen LaSasso and Amanda Miller to the 4th and 5th spots for Team TIBCO. Only Olivia Dillon (Specialized D4W) spoiled the sweep, taking 2nd place.

One for the student in Merced
Samantha Schneider, Team TIBCO's 19-year-old sprinting protégé, showed that she is a quick learner and finisher. The reigning U23 criterium champion took the win in the Merced Criterium after a textbook lead-out that saw Team TIBCO control the final lap of the race. Brooke Miller, who will be helping Schneider continue her development this season, finished right on her wheel to take 2nd.

"Our leadout was flawless," Miller said, "which was really impressive considering this was our first time working together as a team in a race situation."

Team TIBCO II posts solid results in Merced

The Cat. 4 women of Team TIBCO II also showed that the weekend spent training with the pro team in Carpinteria was beneficial. Ann Kodani took a strong 2nd place in the Snelling Road Race, while Jill Eyres took advantage of strong teamwork to finish 3rd at the Merced Criterium.

Team TIBCO riders go strong in New Zealand
While their 10 teammates took over the Merced area, three members of Team TIBCO put in strong rides in the Women's Tour of New Zealand.

Reigning Australian national champion Ruth Corset finished 4th overall in the race after posting a pair of second place stage finishes. She also took home the Queen of the Mountains jersey.

Joanne Kiesanowski took 3rd in the final stage of the race, while posting 4th in the opening stage. She finished 14th overall.

Alison Starnes, riding for Team USA, helped teammate Shelly Evans to four stage wins and the overall title, as well as the team overall title. Team USA also took a fifth stage win by Amber Neben in the Stage 4 individual time trial

Photo courtesy of Larry Rosa