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Evelyn Stevens (Boels-Dolmans) won the Amgen Tour of California women’s invitational time trial in Santa Clarita on Friday. The American covered the 10.6 kilometre course in 14:14, four seconds faster than Lauren Stephens (Team TIBCO – SVB). Kristin Armstrong, two-time Olympic gold medallist in the individual time trial, finished three seconds further back in third.
Amgen Tour of California race organisers relocated the time trial to Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park in Santa Clarita from Big Bear Lake due to threats of snow. The original course was nearly double in length, hilly and at altitude. The replacement course, announced on Wednesday, was a flat, fast, out and back circuit at sea level with relatively few technical features. The women’s field started 90 minutes before the men’s field, which used an identical course for the sixth stage of the eight-day Amgen Tour of California.
“Today was incredible,” said Stevens, in a team statement. “I live in California, so to race in my home state is really special And just to go bombing through the gate to Six Flags [Magic Mountain] was really fun. It’s really special to be out here and to race on the same day as the men with all these amazing fan. It’s just a sign that women’s cycling is continuing to grow.”
Stevens’ win in California is her second time trial victory at the Tour of California women’s event. The former Wall Street Banker has accumulated an impressive list of time trial results since she turned professional five seasons ago that includes three gold medals in the Road World Championships in the team time trial (2012-2014), two national time trial titles (2010-2011), one Pan-Am Championships gold medal (2014), and a silver medal (2012) and bronze medal (2013) in the individual time trial at the Road World Championships. Her prowess against the clock has proven integral in her overall victories at stage races like La Route de France, Gracia Orlova, Giro del Trentino and Thüringen Rundfahrt.
— Neal Henderson (@nealhenderson) May 15, 2015
Stevens beat an accomplished field that included Armstrong, Paralympian gold medalist Sarah Storey (Pearl Izumi), reigning time trial world champion Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM) and multiple reigning and former national champions were amongst the contenders.
Armstrong announced last month that she was coming out of retirement for a second time and had earmarked the Pan Am Championships as her return to racing. Controversy surrounding the selection process foiled her original plans, and Friday’s time trial in Santa Clarita was her first race since the 2012 Olympics where she gold.
Note: feature image is from the individual time trial at the 2014 Road World Championships.
STEVENS Evelyn STEVENS Evelyn Boels - Dolmans Cycling Team
|Boels - Dolmans Cycling Team||14:12|
STEPHENS Lauren STEPHENS Lauren Team TIBCO -SVB
|Team TIBCO -SVB||0:04|
ARMSTRONG Kristin ARMSTRONG Kristin TWENTY16 presented by Sho-Air
|TWENTY16 presented by Sho-Air||0:07|