As Evelyn Stevens of Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team blasted toward the finish line Friday at the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Invitational Time Trial Empowered with SRAM, race announcer Dave Towle brought his race call to a rousing crescendo.
“You’re looking at your new leader coming in now,” Towle boomed, “Evie Stevens riding with World Bicycle Relief on her shoulder!”
Before Friday’s time trial Stevens had said she would donate any prize money she won to World Bicycle Relief, a non-profit group founded by SRAM that is mobilizing people through the Power of Bicycles. The gesture enriched an already sweet victory that came against a top field of time trial specialists that included two-time Olympic time trial champ Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16 p/b SHO-AIR), world time trial champ Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM), newly crowned Pan Am time trial champ Carmen Small (Twenty16 p/b SHO-AIR), and former world time trial champ Amber Neben. It also was Stevens’ first victory riding for the Dutch Boels-Dolman team, which she joined at the start of 2015.
“I always love doing the ITT at the Tour of California. It is such a treat to race at home and now in my home State. The bike has given me so many wonderful opportunities and life experiences and I just wanted to celebrate Bike Month and particularly WBR’s ‘This is not a bike’ campaign by donating whatever prize money I win in the ITT to WBR,” Stevens told WBR. “On my trip to Zambia, I had the privilege of seeing firsthand how WBR is transforming communities through the power of the bicycle and I love to give back, even if it is in a small way.”
Stevens covered the 10.5km (6.6 mile) course around Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park in 14:12, four seconds faster than second place Lauren Stephens (TIBCO-SVB). The race was moved from high-altitude Big Bear Lake to Santa Clarita because of inclement weather.
“I feel really good about it. I have to give credit to Amgen and Medalist (Sports) for putting this on last minute,” Stevens said of the event and its production company finding a replacement course on super-short notice. “I just wanted to have a good day. The thing about time trialing, you don’t really worry about the other people. The only person out there is yourself, so I just kind of prepared everything I could correctly and just leave it out on the course.”