Stevens: We can’t race the women’s road race as individuals

American wants team to pull together to secure medal on home soil

There’s little doubt that the US women’s team head towards the World Championships road race on Sunday with one of the most complete and competitive teams in the competition.

Although they lack a previous winner in the race they have a dynamic squad of riders consisting of Allie Dragoo, Megan Guarnier, Evelyn Stevens, Shelley Olds, Coryn Rivera, Lauren Stephens, and Tayler Wiles.

Importantly, a number of those riders have shown impressive form in recent weeks. At the finish of the women’s team time trial Cyclingnews spoke to Stevens, who has strong medal prospects in both the individual time trial and road race. She picked up a silver in the TTT on Sunday.

“I don’t know who the leader is yet. It comes down to the team meeting and how good you are that day. Personally I think that I’ve proven myself, you can watch Plouay [ed. she finished 8th]… but if I know that if my teammates are great and I’m not then I’ll throw it down in a heartbeat if it means that they’re going to take the win.”

According to Stevens the key in the road race, just as in the team time trial, is cohesion and communication. Marco Pinotti perhaps put it best on Saturday when he told Cyclingnews that the key to racing as a team was that there were no room for egos. That’s not to suggest that there are underlying issues within the US women’s team – not at all – but with so many options and cards to play some riders need to sacrifice their chances if the team are to take home a medal on home soil.

“I would think the same of Megan, of Shelley,” Steven’s continued.

“That’s what a team is. For us to win we can’t race as individuals we have to see who is going to sacrifice for the other but sometimes you don’t know that until the race starts. I’ve never raced in that individual way and I don’t plan to start that. I don’t think my teammates are going to do that either.”

“With the Worlds here and as an American this has been a huge target of mine all season. The team have been really supportive and I feel good. Last year before the team time trial had a crash so compared to last year I now feel like a million bucks.

“We have girls who have proven themselves over the year and over the years but this is a dynamic course and we have a lot of cards to play.”

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