Specialized-lululemon rider might resume racing by end of April
Evelyn Stevens is recovering well from her crash last month at Classica Citta di Padova and could be racing again by the end of April, Specialized-lululemon General Manager Kristy Scrymgeour told Cyclingnews this week.
Stevens hit the deck face first during a high-speed crash while negotiating a roundabout in the Italian race, suffering lacerations and several broken teeth. Although the injuries looked horrific at the time, Scrymgeour said they are mostly superficial and shouldn't keep Stevens off the bike for too long.
"Considering the nature of her crash, her injuries are remarkably few and she's healing well and quickly," Scrymgeour informed Cyclingnews this week via email. "She had quite a few stitches, but all seems to be going well now that these have been removed, and aside from a couple of teeth that need capping she's doing fine and eager to race again soon."
Although it doesn't appear that Stevens will be able to defend her 2012 win at Flèche Wallonne on April 17, Scrymgeour said that because Stevens did not incur a concussion in the crash, she could be back for Gracia Orlova at the end of April.
The spring Classics have been rough on the American-based women's UCI team, which lost veteran sprinter Ina-Yoko Teutenberg to a crash at Drentse 8 a little more than a week before Stevens' mishap. Teutenberg was unconscious for several minutes after the crash and continues to suffer from "substantial post-concussion syndrome," Scrymgeour said.
"We need to take it step by step with her coming back to racing," the Specialized-lululemon general manager said. "So far she's only able to do light exercise. I would say it could be mid-May or even later before Ina starts back racing. We'll see how it goes, but we don't want to rush it."
Despite having lost two of the team's strongest riders for much of the spring Classics, Scrymgeour said, the injured riders' teammates have rallied with podium finishes by Ellen van Dijk in the past two World Cup races at Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Tour of Flanders.
The team's European squad is competing at the Energiewacht Tour in Holland this week, while a North American contingent battles at the Redlands Bicycle Classic April 4-7 in California, and Scrymgeour is eager to see what else the team can accomplish as riders step up to fill the void left by Teutenberg's and Stevens' absence.
"We're looking forward to having Evie and Ina back on the team, and the rest of the girls have been very supportive in their recovery," Scrymgeour said. "But in some ways, from our perspective, it's not a bad thing to lose your leaders for a few races as it creates an opportunity for other riders to fill different roles."