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by Anne-Marije Rook
August 12, 2016
Photography by Cor Vos
WOMEN'S CYCLING BROUGHT TO YOU BY ORBEA
It’s official, at the end of this season American Evelyn Stevens (Boels-Dolmans) will hang up her bike and move on to new challenges, including the working world and motherhood.
It’s been known for some time now that Stevens had plans to retire, but it wasn’t until now that the 33-year-old decided to make her plans official. In what is perhaps a nod to her old Wall Street days, Stevens announced her retirement through the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, just one day after finishing 10th in the Olympic time trial.
“It’s been awesome. I got to travel the world. I raced with some of the best women out there, got to do the Olympic time trial, the road race twice, won some races, lost some races, crashed terribly…it’s been more than I ever could have expected,” Stevens told WSJ. “Really, I’m ready for the next challenge. Eventually you have to end being a professional cyclist. You can’t do it forever. So I feel like I’m going to end it on a high note, while I’m still good, still on top of my game.”
Stevens’ incredible Wall-Street-banker-turned-cycling-pro story is well told, and goes a little like this:
2008: Stevens, an investment banker on Wall Street buys her first road bike in June to stay fit, and jumps into a racing clinic in New York’s Central Park. She gets hooked.
2009: Stevens quickly moves up the amateur ranks and starts competing against the pros. She finishes second in the US national time trial championships. She’s given her first taste at international competition and finishes second overall at La Route de France, followed by an impressive 15th place finish in the World Championships road race in Switzerland. At the end of the season, she signs with HTC- Highroad Women (which would later become Specialized-Lululemon and Velocio-SRAM).
2010: Stevens’ first year as a pro sees her finish 5th at the Fleche Wallonne, win a stage in women’s cycling’s most prestigious tour, the Giro Donne (now Giro Rosa), and become the American national time trial champion.
Stevens (right) battles Marianne Vos (left) up Mur de Huy. She’d win the Fleche Wallonne in 2012.
By now, Stevens has a trophy chest and palmares that many career cyclists can only dream of. She has won classics like the Fleche Wallonne as well as prestigious stage races like the Holland Ladies Tour and Thuringer Rundfahrt der Frauen, and numerous stages at the Giro Rosa, women’s cycling’s grand tour. She has won the national time trial title twice, and won three team time trial world championships in addition to a bronze and silver world championship medal in the individual time trial. In February, she set a new UCI world hour record and in August, represented Team USA at her second Olympic Games, finishing 10th in the time trial and 12th in the road race.
In record time, Stevens went from being a beginner to pro to one of the world’s most successful and respected cyclists. Her story is one that has inspired women and girls throughout the country to not only pick up a bike but to chase their dreams. For the niche sport that is women’s cycling, Stevens has become a household name and an always smiling ambassador.
And while Stevens will be sorely missed in the peloton, the season is far from over. Stevens intends to continue racing until the October world championships, where the Boels-Dolmans powerhouse team hopes to claim the individual time trial title.
End on a high note. Stevens intends to retire at the end of the season while she’s “still on top of my game”