After an impressive 12th place in GC at the Cycliste Feminine International de Ardeche last week, Evie headed back to the US teams home base in Tuscany for the Giro della Toscana Michela Fanini. The Giro is a UCI 2.1 6 day stage race.
In the opening stage’s 4.1 km Team Time Trial, the US team learned how unfair cycling can be. One of the last team’s to ride, they faced having rains and a slippery course unlike the teams that went off early. They ended in the middle of the pack, 24 seconds back.
The second stage was long and flat and Evie finished with the goup. Teammate Shelley Olds captured the sprint jersey.
Evie might have turned in her most impressive performance yet in stage 3. She finished sixth to move up to seventh place in GC. She is only behind the top women riders in the world like Marianne Vos, Judith Arndt and Mara Abbott. The uphill finish brought the top riders to the front and Evie was among them once again;
Stage 4 was a 4 km TT. Evie finished the day 8th in GC.
Stage 5 was a great day fot team USA. Shelley Olds finished third overall in a break of 5 and pretty much clinched the sprint jersey. Kristin McGrath broke from the peloton to finish 6th and get into the top 10. Evie finished in 11th for GC. Evie lost a few spots in GC but that’s how it goes in bike racing sometimes. She stayed with with the top riders, Vos, Arndt, Abbott and no one was making a move to catch the break. With a teammate in the break and another making a late move off the front, Evie did the right thing by riding in with the peloton.
The stage 6, circuit race through Florence must have been an incredible sight. But it was flat and very fast and despite trying to get a break going, Evie finished with the pack and ended the race in 11th in GC.
After 3 stages of Le Tour Cycliste Feminine International Ardeche, Evie is in 17th in GC out of 125 starters. She finished with the field in the 1st and 3rd day stage races and came in 22nd 1:49 back of the leader in the 2nd stage TT. The 2nd and 3rd stages which was 100 km, were on the same day. Kristin Armstrong is the overall leader after winning the 3rd stage in a break 4:02 ahead of the field. Christiane Soeder of Team Cervelo, won the first and second stages. The US, lead by Amber Neben, is 2nd out of 24 team GC. The first stages were relatively flat with the peloton sticking together. The next 2 stages are more hilly with a flat circuit race on Saturday.
Evie finished with the lead group of 20 in stage 4 to move up to 13th in GC.
Evie again finished with the main group in Stage 5 and remains in 13th place in GC. Teammate Amber Neben characterized the stage, “lots of wind and big tempo. Also fast and controlled all day so not much racing. One more stage to go.”
The US team maintains 2nd in Team GC with a huge gap over the third place team. Kristin Armstrong stays in first and her Team Crevelo has 8 minutes plus on the US in the team competition.
USACycling announces that Evie is among seven cyclists selected for the United States Women’s World Championship team..
Evelyn Stevens will be exchanging her CRCA/Radical Media kit for the white,yellow and black of Columbia HTC next season. Team director Bob Stapleton said “We are very optimistic about what Evelyn can do. She still has a lot to learn about racing but she’s got good instincts and good ability and she will come along very quickly. She’s mature and she has confidence and that is going to do well when it comes to adapting to races in Europe.”
Next up for Evie is the Tour Cycliste Féminin International Ardèche starting on Sept 8. Riding for the US National Team, she gets to go up against Kristin Armstrong, Nicole Cook and Judith Arndt.
Even before her wins at Fitchburg and Cascades, USACycling recruited Evie to the National team to do some racing in Europe in August.
The first stop is the UCI 2.1 Le Route de France Feminine, a six day stage race. In the prolog on August 9, Evie finished 16th, 22 seconds behind the leader but only 1 second out of the top 10.
Evie finished with the main peloton in Stage 1, a long flat stage won by Ina Teutenberg of Columbia/HTC. At the end of the day she was 20th in GC, 31 seconds behind the leader. As Teutenberg said in cyclingnews.com “the hardest part of this year’s race are the last two stages [Thursday and Friday], which are really hilly, and together with tomorrow’s [Tuesday’s] time trial that’s where the overall will be decided.” Evie remains in good position to contest the hard stages.
In the TT, Evie had a setback as she crashed and had to finish on her road bike but she came back strong to finish with the peloton in the flat stage 3 road race. After 4 stages she is 28th in GC, 2:10 back. The final 2 hilly stages play to her strength and just maybe she is far enough back to be able to sneak away and do some damage.
Fully announcing her arrival on the international stage, Evie wins Stage 4. She finished just ahead of Kim Anderson, Columbia/HTC with both of them 2:12 ahead of the rest of the 10 women break and almost a 1/2 hour ahead of the field. Evie is second in GC,1:19 behind Anderson, with only a handful of riders remaining in contention.
In the final stage Evie finished with the lead group behind a lone breakway rider to clinch second in GC for the race.
The Wall Street Journal ran a nice feature on Evie in its Friday August 7 paper.
While Jim Miller, development head of USACycling said Evie had to improve by 6-10% to compete with the best in Europe, Evie demonstrated that she can already beat top European riders in Le Route de France Feminine. Hopefully she gets to go back to Europe for the world Championships in September. She has earned the trip.
Evie Stevens finished second in the National Time Trial Championships. She lost out by only 1 second to Jessica Philips, 50:36 to 50:35. She beat third place Alison Powers for the first time in a TT by 22 seconds. On the web Alison said “she went as hard as she could. For sure, the strongest won today.” Evie has established herself among the top women riders in the US.
In the National Championship Road Race, Evie placed 6th. While such a finish was almost unimaginable, even a month ago, it incredibly was a disappointing result. Evie was riding with race favorite Mara Abbott of Columbia HTC and they let a break of 5 get away for the win. If
Evie, riding in CRCA/Radical Media kit, had the support of the Webcor team, as she did in the Cascades race the result might have been different. Meredith Miller, TIBCO, won with former CRCA rider Kristen LaSasso third. Reports in Velonews have LaSasso doing the major work to keep the break away.
Evelyn Stevens, with three stage victories took GC in the Cascades Stage Race. This marks her second consecutive NRC stage race GC title. This is the first NRC Stage Race triumphs for a current or past member of CRCA. Her being a current member who did club races this year makes this even more satisfying.
Two victories in a month is phenomenal and coming only a year after starting to race is incredible. CRCA is very proud of Evie and offers her our congratulations.
We are very proud that our women’s program provides easy entry to racing. For that we take credit in helping her have the opportunity to get started but her achievements are totally due to her own ability and the help of her coach and teammates. Evie found an excellent coach in Matt Koschara and arranged to get on teams , Lip Smackers and Webcor,that helped her win at Fitchburg and Cascades.
At Redlands, early in the season, she showed signs of her great talent with a 14th place finish in the TT. She made all the key breaks in the road races but ended up crashing out of the race to end her hopes of a top 10 in GC. She was disappointed but learned she could compete with the top women in the world.
Over the course of the season she learned how to race and how to win. She improved at Nature Valley and if not for missing one break would have been top 5. At Fitchburg it all came together for a GC win. At Cascades, against a deeper field than Fitchburg, she not only took GC but 3 stage victories.
After her 12th place GC finish at Nature Valley, I wrote “Evie showed the speed, power and endurance to keep up with the best women in the country. With more experience, improved bike handling and Kristen Armstrong’s retirement at the end of this year, there isn’t anyone that Evie can’t beat in the women’s peloton.” Genuinely modest and embarrassed by such a claim, Evie had me remove the section. But, in a much shorter time than I ever expected she has proven that she can beat anyone in the North American women’s peloton.
Evie finished with the pack and maintained her GC lead in Saturday night’s Bend Downtown Crit. Evie’s Webcor teammates worked hard to chase down any potential threats to her GC lead. The race was won by 16 year old Coryn Rivera who beat Tina Pic despite racing with junior gears. Coryn has won several big crits in a row. Evie, riding for Coryn’s Proman team, helped her win the San Rafael Crit two weeks ago.
Evie wins the 71 mile mountain top finish Stage 4 road race. Amber Rais who started in second in GC finished second in the stage so Evie’s GC lead is at least 1:12 with the 10 second bonus. Two tough stages to go.
With a fourth place finish in the Stage 3 Time Trial, Evie pushed her GC lead from 18 seconds to 1:02. After Stage 2, 9 riders were within a minute of Evie.
In the hilly Stage 2 at Cascades a break of six including top women riders Korie Seehafer, Amber Rais and Evie’s teammate Erinne Willock opened a 3 minute gap on the peloton. But in the last few kilometer’s after the break was caught on the final 16 mile climb, Evie attacked and went on to victory.
Guest riding this week for Webcor, Evie Stevens won the opening day 70 mile road race. Cascades is first major women’s NRC race since Evie won GC at Fitchburg.
From Cyclingnews ““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 metres to go and I kicked it – I got it. It feels really cool to win against a good sprinters. I’ve never done it before, not at this level.”
Beating Tina Pic in a sprint is a major breakthrough. Evelyn has been doing great but sprinting has not been her strength. Maybe the recent work she’s been doing on the track is paying dividends.
RT @marianatwcm: Cascade Classic women’s Stage 1: 1. Stevens (Webcor) 2. Pic (Colavita) 3. Chrissy Ruiter (ValueAct). #cascadeabout 1 hour ago from twhirl
Evie Stevens, guest riding for Team Lip Smackers, finished with the pack in Sunday’s crit to clinch the overall GC win at Fitchburg. I stand to be corrected but believe this is the first NRC stage race win for a CRCA rider.
With a second place finish in Saturday’s road race, Evie Stevens increased her GC lead at Fitchburg from one to twenty seconds over Alison Powers.
Matt Koschara posted on Facebook that he “is happy to have a rider that he coaches in yellow at Fitchburg. Thanks, Evelyn.”
Stevens finished third in the circuit race two seconds ahead of the field and behind only US National Champions Tina Pic and Jen McRae. With the three second bonus for third she moved one second ahead of Alison Powers for the overall GC lead. In Cyclingnews Powers said, “I’m worried about the overall, I had no idea who Evelyn was before this race.”
Evie Stevens finished second in the 14K first day Time Trial. Guest riding for the LipSmackers team, Evie had the new advantage of a borrowed TT bike courtesy of Gavi Epstein and aero wheels from Patrick Littlefield, While she was 52 seconds behind US Time Trial Champ Alison Powers at Nature Valley, she pulled to within 4 seconds at Fitchburg.
The above posts were made over the course of the race. Besides being posted to the website they were sent to CRCA Twitter. Follow all breaking CRCA news as well as updates on road conditions via CRCA Twitter.
Compilation, editing and comments by Mike Green