Evelyn Stevens, the newest face in women’s cycling, has scored another significant victory in the Cascade Cycling Classic's opening stage. Kitted up in her brand new Webcor Builder’s duds, the New York City girl stormed passed the peloton in what she thought was a lead-out for her teammate, sprint specialist Gina Grain, only to discover no one could come around her at the line.
"I jumped to do a lead-out for Gina but I think I went a little too hard. No one ever taught me how to do a lead-out," said Stevens. "I had a gap, saw 200 meters to go and kicked it. I got it. It feels really cool to win against good sprinters. I’ve never done it before, not at this level."
Stevens now leads the overall classification after she won the opening stage bunch gallop ahead of Tina Pic (Colavita-Sutter Home) and Chrissy Ruiter (Value Act Capital).
The bike racing newcomer turned heads after winning her first NRC title at the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic two weeks ago. A guest rider for Lip Smakers, Stevens claimed the general classification ahead of world-class talents Alison Powers (Team Type 1) and Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli (Vital Plus). She was subsequently picked up as a guest rider with the Webcor Builders women's team for this week's Cascade Classic. However, after her winning performances it won't be too long before she lands a full-time contract.
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 the Vermont’s Green Mountain Stage Race last September and the 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.
She grew-up in Boston, Massachusetts but now calls New York City her home. She joined the Century Road Club Association’s (CRCA) women’s clinic after encouragement from family members.
Compared to many of her current competitors Stevens has a somewhat unconventional approach to training. Much of her race preparation is carried out in New York's famed Central Park or across the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey.
For images of stage one at the Cascade Cycling Classic click here