Megan's Run to No. 1
Boels-Dolmans Star Megan Guarnier Wins Coast to Coast, atop WorldTour rankings
From Lake Tahoe to the Schuylkill River, American Megan Guarnier of Boels-Dolmans Cycling is the best. In the past few weeks, she’s won in UCI Women’s World Tour races in California and Philadelphia, with a national championship victory in North Carolina in the middle.
Guarnier’s victories at the women’s Amgen Tour of California and the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic strengthen her position at the No. 1 ranked rider in the UCI Women’s WorldTour Rankings. It’s an example of a top rider excelling as part of a powerhouse team. Indeed, with the win in Philly, Boels-Dolmans has won seven of nine WorldTour races so far this season. Boels team members constitute four of the top 10 ranked WorldTour riders with World Champ Lizzie Armitstead (third), Chantal Blaak (fourth), and Evelyn Stevens (seventh) to go along with Guarnier’s top spot. That team approach is acted out in each race, she said.
"We (Boels Dolmans) take each new race day as another challenge," Guarnier said. "Each individual races has a huge number of variables that we need to take into consideration in order to create a successful plan; when we have the single goal of making the best race possible, it doesn't seem like any more or any less pressure than the previous races. I don't see individual pressure for me, because the success is a result of the entire team's contribution and execution."
The 31-year-old Guarnier is one to watch at Rio this summer, having already reserved her spot on the U.S. roster thanks to her bronze medal at last year’s UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, Va.
A former competitive swimmer turned cyclist, Guarnier took up bike racing while she was a student at Middlebury College in Vermont. She gained experience in collegiate cycling – she lists the Collegiate Women’s Mount Philo Road Race Women’s “B” category as her first victory. (While at Middlebury, she also earned a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience.)
A native of New York state who now lives in San Mateo, Calif., Guarnier has been racing since 2005 and has been part of Boels-Dolmans since 2014. She had her breakout performance last year when she won the Strade Biache in Italy.
“It was my first one-day big win against the top field,” she told us last year. “That gave me confidence that, yes, I can do this. I can hold off these other women to the line. I’ve done it once, why can’t I do it again? It empowers me in that respect.”
She’s raced on SRAM components for most of her career and now rides SRAM® RED® eTap®. "SRAM RED eTap is the sharpest shifting I have experienced," Guarnier said. Her go-to wheelset is the Zipp 303 Firecrest.
Balint Hamvas ©Velofocus