Cycling newcomer a contender for US elite women's road championship
Evelyn Stevens captured her second consecutive National Racing Calendar (NRC) stage race title at the BMC Cascade Cycling Classic, after winning the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic just one week prior. The bike racing newcomer has her eyes set on winning a stars and stripes jersey at the Elite US National Championships held from July 28-August 2 in Bend, Oregon.
"You never know," Stevens said. "It's going to be a hard race and there are a lot of really strong women out there. It will be based on how you ride it and possibly even having the luck that day. Of course I'm going to give it my best go."
The national road championship will provide some tough competition including current US national time trial champion, Alison Powers (Team Type 1), and the reigning double national champion in the road race and criterium, Brooke Miller (TIBCO), along with her teammates Amber Rais, Katharine Carroll and Lauren Tamayo. Other strong contenders for the win include Kathryn Mattis (Webcor-Builders), Shelley Olds (Proman Hitsquad), Jessica Phillips (LipSmackers), Kristin McGrath and Chrissy Ruiter (Value Act Capital) among many other standout women.
Stevens heads into the national championships on good form having won the six-stage Cascade Cycling Classic, while guest riding for the Webcor-Builders team, ahead of power-house Amber Rais (TIBCO) who placed second and US National Time Trial Champion Alison Powers (Team Type 1) who placed third.
"There were only six of us but it felt like there were 25 Webcor riders out there," said Stevens. "I think we all gave it everything we had to keep me in the jersey and it was super hard. I couldn't have won this race without them, there's no way. Each and every one of those riders gave everything they got. It's awesome... really cool to have won two stage races."
Stevens grew up in Boston, Massachusetts but now calls New York City her home. She joined the Century Road Club Association's (CRCA) after encouragement from family members. Much of her race preparation is carried out in New York's famed Central Park or across the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey.
Though she recently guest rode for team LipSmackers and Webcor-Builder, Stevens will race the championships for CRCA. "I decided I wanted to race in my regional team's clothing for nationals," Stevens said. "I think it's a nice way to kind of say goodbye to them."
Stevens, 26, has taken a break from a career in finance and is trying her hand at bike racing. She upgraded quickly from Cat. 4 to Cat. 1 after wins in Vermont's Green Mountain Stage Race last September and Arizona's Valley of the Sun in February. She went on to compete as a Cat. 1 rider in California's Redlands Bicycle Classic and Minnesota's Nature Valley Grand Prix this summer.
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