US athlete takes on TTT before racing in stars and stripes
Evelyn Stevens is hoping to transfer her strong recent form into next week’s Worlds where she’ll compete for both her trade team, Specialized – Lululemon, and the US.
Stevens recently finished second overall in the Holland’s Ladies Tour behind Marianne Vos, but with Stevens and her Lululemon teammates winning the race's team time trial, the American could get off to the perfect start at the Worlds in the team time trial. The American will then compete in the individual time trial and road race for the US.
“I was second yesterday in Holland. It’s been a long season but I like the Worlds courses and it’s really exiting to have he chances to ride the team time trial with Specialized – Lululemon. We did a team time trial in Holland so to get the chance to compete for a World championship medal with the team, is really exciting,” the 29-year-old told Cyclingnews.
Specialized – Lululemon has yet to announce their line up for the 34.2 km team time trial but Stevens added that the squad will be similar to the one that dominated the discipline at the Holland Ladies Tour. Despite the win Stevens isn’t allowing herself to become complacent and while a gold medal is the goal she admits that a number of other teams will raise the bar.
“You can’t ever underestimate anyone. Everyone is to bring their ‘A game’ and there’s a lot of completion out there.”
Once the team event is out of the way Stevens will switch her attentions to national duties and the individual time trial and road race. Having missed out on a slot in the time trial for the Olympics, she will be motivated to prove a point.
“You can’t always have everything go in favour and it gives you a little more drive and focus. What I learned with the Olympics is that I just need to get better so that next time they come around there’s no way they can’t select me. I’ve raced a lot this season and I would like to do well in the individual time trial and I’m just going to give it my best shot.”
Valkenburg will represent Stevens’ fourth Worlds and despite a meteoritic rise through the professional ranks in such a short space of time her 2012 season has been measured by a combination of consistency and success with 10 victories to date.
“Last years’ Worlds were awful for me so I think when I finished I realised I had to do a lot of work if I wanted to get to the next level. I moved to Boulder, Colorado and I started to work on all of my weaknesses, which were quite a handful. I worked on my skills and that gave me confidence and that’s continued. And I’ve been really lucky o be on the team with the best equipment and best support.”