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Evelyn Stevens wins Philly Cycling Classic

It was a mission completed for Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon), who successful defended her title at the Philadelphia Cycling Classic on Sunday in Pennsylvania. She climbed to victory atop Manayunk Wall ahead of a runner-up Lex Albrecht (Twenty16 Pro Cycling), who was quickly gaining ground but ran out of road before the finish line, and Lauren Hall (Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies) in third.

"My team laid it all on the line for me," Stevens said. "When I went, I knew that I had to completely empty my tank. I was not going to look back until I was over the finish line. I had an idea that I had won with 100 meters to go, but I didn't want to get cocky, so I had no victory salute because I wanted to make sure that I had it. On these kinds of courses, you can win or lose in the last 25 meters. When your team does everything for you — it's really special."

Triple national champion, Alison Powers (UnitedHealthcare), reaped the rewards of being in an all-day solo breakaway and secured both the climber and sprint competitions. Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (Tibco-To The Top) earned the event's Miji Reoch Award for being the top under-23 rider.

The more the merrier on Manayunk

Some 140 cyclists from around the world lined up at the top of Manayunk Wall for the second edition, which was upgraded to UCI 1.1 status and one of two UCI events for women in the US. Fans increasingly gathered at the top of the climb with beer in-hand and ready to celebrate the annual event.

The race started with what has been typically dubbed “the fall from the wall,” a fast and technical descent to the first intermediate sprint where Niman Song (China Chongming-Giant-Champion System) took the full points. The race went over Strawberry Mansion, descended back onto Kelly Drive and over to Lemon Hill where Alena Amialiusik (Astana) picked up the first set of QOM points. She went on to climb over Manayunk and take the second set of QOM points.

The race descended Manayunk for the start of the second lap and Anna Stricker (Astana BePink) claimed the second intermediate sprint points. Powers made an impulsive attack and ended up gaining an immediate 35-second advantage, and with little effort from the main field to close it down, her lead bloomed to 1:10 minutes heading into the second climb over Manayunk.

"It was a spur-of-the-moment move,” Powers said. “We planned to have me go later in the race. There was a gap after the sprint points and then I was by myself. I was going full gas. I wanted to stay out as long as possible and allow my teammates to save their legs. It was a super bonus to get the sprint and QOM award."

Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies made a concerted attempt to get one of their riders across to Powers, sending off attack after attack during the next two laps but their efforts were dampened without the support of other teams.

"You have to save a bullet for Manayunk but with Alison up to road, that was the race," Hall said. "You can't let somebody get up the road and just expect them to come back. We really raced our bikes today. We wanted to bridge across to her but everyone sat on and nobody wanted to let us go."

Powers continued to pick up the full points at the intermediate sprint and at the QOMs on top of Lemon Hill and Manayunk on each lap. Teams Astana, Specialized-lululemon and Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies set a quick pace at the front of the field and reduced Powers's gap until she was back in the field before the penultimate climb over Manayunk, and the start of the last lap.

"You can't give Alison too much time but four laps on this course is hard," Stevens said. "I did think maybe she could do it because she's so good right now. It made people race. This is the kind of race where you need one big bullet. The more teams used their energy the more I could save it."

The field started the fifth and final lap intact with Astana doing the bulk of the pace-setting. UnitedHealthcare set Powers up to take the full set of QOM points on Lemon Hill and secure the category win.

Several attacks along with a seven-rider breakaway were short-lived on Kelly Drive and into main street Manayunk. Specialized-lululemon secured the first lead out train heading up the initial climb and through the technical chicane followed by Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, Twenty16 Pro Cycling and UnitedHealthcare.

"The goal was for us to stay up front and my team did a great job today," Albrecht said. "We were hungry for the win today. The last climb is like a little race in itself. It was essential to be well positioned through the chicane to have a good start to the climb."

Stevens got a jump on the climb, which was packed with cheering fans, and raced her way to her second consecutive victory. Hall, who thought she had second place sewn up, was caught and passed by Albrecht near the top. "Evie got a jump on me and I kept her the same distance up and then Lex came out of nowhere and was closing the gap to Evie. I'm happy with my results and our team did an awesome job. Optum attacked their butts off today."


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon2:28:57
2Lex Albrecht (CAN)
3Lauren Hall (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
4Alena Amialiusik (BLR) Astana BePink
5Flavia Oliveira (BRA)
6Lizzie Williams (AUS)
7Mara Abbott (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Women’s Team
8Sharon Laws (GBR) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Women’s Team
9Joanne Kiesanowski (NZL) Team TIBCO
10Mandy Heintz (USA)
11Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (USA) Team TIBCO
12Janel Holcomb (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
13Dalia Muccioli (ITA) Astana BePink
14Jessica Cutler (USA)
15Amanda Miller (USA) Team TIBCO
16Mary Zider (USA)
17Laura Brown (CAN)
18Amy Charity (USA)
19Lauren Komanski (USA)
20Khristi Lay (CAN)
21Tina Pic (USA)
22Olivia Dillon (IRL)
23Stephanie Roorda (CAN)
24Ingrid Drexel (MEX) Forno d'Asolo-Astute
25Miranda Griffiths (AUS)
26Anna Sanders (USA)
27Hannah Barnes (GBR) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Women’s Team
28Patricia Schwager (SUI) Team TIBCO
29Leah Kirchmann (CAN) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
30Jasmin Glaesser (CAN) Team TIBCO
31Sara Headley (USA) Team TIBCO
32Rushlee Buchanan (NZL) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Women’s Team
33Laura Jorgensen (USA)
34Cecillia Davis-Hayes (USA)
35Niman Song (CHN)
36Daiva Tuslaite (LTU) Forno d'Asolo-Astute
37Kate Chilcott (NZL)
38Alison Tetrick (USA)
39Jade Wilcoxson (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
40Maura Kinsella (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
41Kathleen Lysakowski (USA)
42Simona Frapporti (ITA) Astana BePink
43Edita Janeliunaite (LTU) Forno d'Asolo-Astute
44Carmen Small (USA) Specialized-lululemon0:01:30
45Tayler Wiles (USA) Specialized-lululemon0:01:52
46Lauren Tamayo (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Women’s Team
47Alison Powers (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Women’s Team0:01:59
48Anna Zita Maria Stricker (ITA) Astana BePink
49Annie Foreman-Mackey (CAN)0:04:30
50Jessenia Meneses (COL) Forno d'Asolo-Astute0:03:16
51Ally Stacher (USA) Specialized-lululemon0:04:57
52Stephanie Wetzel (USA)0:03:51
53Abigail Mickey (USA)0:04:19
54Lauren Dagostino (USA)0:07:39
55Ivy Audrain (USA)0:04:30
56Michelle Miller (USA)
57Jessica Chong (USA)
58Emily Spence (CAN)
59Xi Sha Zhao (CHN)
60Alice Algisi (ITA) Astana BePink0:04:57
61Silvia Valsecchi (ITA) Astana BePink0:08:22
62Lenore Pipes (GUM)0:05:35
63Beth Ruiz (USA)
64Carrie Cartmill (CAN)
65Ellen Watters (CAN)
66Georgina Beech (AUS)0:07:39
67Colleen Gulick (USA)
68Kerrin Strevell (USA)
69Hongyu Liang (CHN)
70Arley Kemmerer (USA)
71Nancy Labbe-Giguere (CAN)
72Kathleen Wolfkuhle (USA)
73Joanie Caron (CAN)
74Christina Birch (USA)
75Adrianne Provost (CAN)
76Whitney Schultz (USA)0:08:01
77Lindsay Bayer (USA)
78Elizabeth Bonilla (USA)
79Amy Bradley (AUS)
80Amber Gaffney (USA)0:08:22
81Gillian Carleton (CAN)
82Patricia Buerkle (USA)1 lap
83Elle Anderson (USA)
84Karlee Gendron (CAN)
85Brittlee Bowman (USA)
86Emily Underwood (USA)
87Morgan Patton Brown (USA)
88Brianna Walle (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies
89Laura Van Gilder (USA)
90Leslie Lupien (USA)
91Amy Cutler (USA)
92Jenny Rios (MEX)
93Jessica Allen (AUS)
94Andrea Brennan (USA)
95Vanessa Drigo (SUI)
96Raquel Miller (USA)
97Erica Zaveta (USA)2 laps
98Erin Silliman (USA)
99Rose Long (USA)
100Amy Miner (USA)
101Helen Hatch (USA)
102Cheryl Fuller-Muller (USA)
103Madeleine Mcconnell (CAN)
104Fabienne Gérard (USA)
105Deborah Leedale-Brown (USA)3 laps
106Lisa Vandivort (USA)
107Kristie James (USA)
108Kristin Lotito (USA)
109Amélie Bruneau (CAN)
110Emily Flynn (CAN)
111Xiu Jie Jiang (CHN)
112Karol-Ann Canuel (CAN) Specialized-lululemon4 laps
113Mia Loquai (USA)
114Laura Darlington (AUS)
115Aimee Layton (USA)
116Kaitlyn Steeves (CAN)
117Frances Morrison (USA)
118Allyson Gillard (CAN)
119Nikki Thiemann (USA)
DNFRachel Hallum-Montes (USA)
DNFTracey Cameron (CAN)
DNSAllie Dragoo (USA)
DNSCelia Riechel (USA

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.

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