Cool focus and clever pacing sees Stevens wins Tour of California women's time trial
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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cool focus and clever pacing sees Stevens wins Tour of California women's time trial

by Shane Stokes at 8:32 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour of California
 
Specialized lululemon rider fights back after being passed by Powers

Evelyn StevensKeeping her cool after she was caught for thirty seconds by the rider behind her, Evelyn Stevens rallied to win the third Amgen Tour of California women’s time trial yesterday.

The Specialized lululemon rider started off second from last but was reeled in by Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis) approximately halfway through the 31.6 kilometre test. However Stevens knew that the steep final climb was crucial to judge right and also to have energy in reserve for, and she was able to eke out a winning advantage there.

“I was really looking forward to this race,” she said afterwards. “It’s an excellent course with some great technical sections, some wide open sections where the wind played a big part and quite a lot of climbing.

“It was the longest time trial I've ever done which was really good for me to experience, and the fact that it finished at the top of a really hard climb suited me perfectly.”

Stevens beat Marianne Vos atop the Mur de Huy to win last year’s Flèche Wallonne, and so it was clear that she had what it takes to scorch up the final climb. However one uncertainty was if the bad crash she suffered earlier this year – and which kept her off the bike for some time – would cost her in such a long, tough race against the clock.

The answer was no. Former downhill skier Powers used her technical abilities to catch Stevens, but the latter gauged her effort to perfection and recouped the lost thirty seconds plus an additional 56 seconds on the wall up to the line.

That huge time gain over the final three kilometres sealed her win in the race over Stevens, with Kristin McGrath (Exergy TWENTY16) one minute and 24 seconds back in third.

“I had a feeling she was going to make some time on me early in the race and I knew I had to stay patient and stick to our plan,” she said of her tactics. “We had been over the course and the plan quite a few times in the days leading into the race. I knew I had to keep my pace up to the climb and then give everything on the climb.

“It was exciting to have that battle and great to race in front of a great crowd in California.”

The race was marred by a bad crash to former world and US TT champion Amber Neben (Pasta Zara-Cogeas), who fell heavily and was taken to hospital. She was later diagnosed with a fractured hip and will miss next week’s USPRO national championships.

One who will definitely be there is Stevens, who received a welcome confidence boost prior to aiming for what would be her third national TT championship.


Tour of California women’s time trial:


1, Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon) 31.6 km in 55 mins 49 secs
2, Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS) at 56 secs
3, Kristin McGrath (Exergy TWENTY16) at 1 min 24 secs
4, Jade Wilcoxson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) at 3 mins 2 secs
5, Mara Abbott (Exergy TWENTY16) at 3 mins 9 secs
6, Alison Tetrick (Exergy TWENTY16) at 3 mins 26 secs
7, Brianna Walle (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) at 3 mins 52 secs
8, Julie Dibens (Trek) at 3 mins 59 secs
9, Tayler Wiles (Specialized-lululemon) at 4 mins 1 secs
10, Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS) at 4 mins 10 secs
11, Jasmin Glaesser (Team TIBCO) at 4 mins 56 secs
12, Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) at 5 mins
13, Lauren Stephens (Team TIBCO) at 6 mins 5 secs
14, Rhae Shaw (Vanderkitten) at 6 mins 44 secs

Did not finish: Amber Neben (Pasta Zara-Cogeas)

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