Starnes Takes Merco Cycling Classic

Sunday, March 06, 2011
Merced, California – Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 dominated the women’s stage race, taking overall victory as well as several individual stage podiums.  Alison Starnes took the general classification after a convincing win in the individual time trial.  Coryn Rivera and Lauren Tamayo also collected podiums in the four event stage race.
Stage One of the Merco Cycling Classic was an 82km road race.  Starnes took second in the sprint for the line, heading up an impressive team finish.  Teammates Tayler Wiles and Kristin McGrath took fifth and sixth respectively on the stage.  
The second stage was a short 12km time trial over flat exposed roads.  Peanut Butter & Co. was once again the class of the field, taking four of the top ten spots.  Starnes won the race by 1:15, a huge margin considering how brief the race was.  McGrath, Tamayo, and Olivia Dillon took fifth through seventh on the stage.  With the win, Starnes took a commanding lead in the overall classification.
Going into the 40km criterium, it was evident that keeping the race under control would be the primary goal for Peanut Butter & Co.  The team was able to neutralize every attack, and set up Coryn Rivera for the field sprint where she took second.  The second place is even more impressive for the 18-year-old due to the fact that she just recovered from a bad crash in the Tour of Qatar earlier this year.  Tamayo took fifth on the stage.  
The final stage covered 120km, and proved to be a challenge for the team.  Starnes was able to cover every attack, and crossed the line as the Merco Cycling Classic overall champion.  Tamayo, once again proved herself in the sprint, crossing the line third on the stage.  
“I’m in a pretty good high abouot winning the overall because I felt like my team had a common goal and we stuck with our plan and worked through this,” said Starnes after the race.  “This is a team win and I was excited to be in the position, do my job and time trial and work as well as a team player.”