Congratulations to Evelyn Stevens for kicking off the season with an overall victory at the Merco Cycling Classic in Merced, California. She relied on the consistent support of her Specialized-lululemon teammates to secure the top step on the podium at the conclusion of the four-day event on Sunday.
Specialized-lululemon sent a small but strong team that also included Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Ally Stacher and Tayler Wiles.
At the opening stage’s MID Road Race, Stevens and Wiles broke away from the field and made it to the finish line a mere 15 seconds ahead of a bunch sprint. Wiles secured the stage win and the overall race lead and Stevens placed second.
Stevens put forth a winning performance during the stage two Merced Boosters Time Trial. She won the 19.3 kms race in 26:21 minutes, proving every bit why she is one of the top time trialists in the country. Her performance moved her up into the overall race lead.
Specialized-lululemon continued to dominate the race with its sprinter Ina-Yoko Teutenberg winning the stage three McDonald’s Downtown Grand Prix. Teutenberg is well-known for winning bunch sprints but this time she won the race from a small breakaway that also included her teammate Stacher. Stevens finished safely toward the front of the field and maintained her lead in the overall classification heading into the finale.
Specialized-lululemon celebrated Stevens’s overall victory at the conclusion of the stage four Hilltop Ranch Road Race. Wiles finished the stage race in third place overall behind runner-up Alison Powers (Now and Novartis for MS). In addition to their overall classification performances, Stevens placed second in the points competition and Wiles won the Under 26 competition.