Evelyn Stevens wins Amgen Tour of California women’s TT

Stevens rides to victory on short, fast course in Santa Clarita ahead of Lauren Stephens and 2012 Olympic TT champ Kristin Armstrong

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

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Evelyn Stevens (Boels Dolmans) delivered a scorching ride on a cool day in Santa Clarita, California, winning the Amgen Tour of California women’s time trial on Friday.

She rode the flat, 6.7-mile course that started and finished at Six Flags Magic Mountain in 14 minutes, 12 seconds.

“It was great. I felt strong right when I went through the first corner,” she said. “I was surprised to win this one. I mean obviously Richmond time trial is a huge goal for me, the Olympic time trial is a huge goal. And so this was on my list of things I wanted to win leading up to it. You can kind of have a list, and to actually do it is really satisfying.”

Lauren Stephens (Tibco-SVB) finished second, four seconds behind. The 2012 Olympic time trial champion, Kristin Armstrong (Twenty16-Sho-Air), was third, seven seconds behind Stevens.

“I had high expectations today, of course with my history, I wanted — not expected — to come out on top,” said Armstrong, 41. “I think that for my first race back, I can’t set the expectations too high. I just now have to put my head down and get to work.

“I think that Lauren Stephens, I’ve been watching her, and she continues to improve. … Every race she does she’s stronger.”

Stevens said she actually might have benefitted from a last-minute course change, which resulted in a race at sea level, rather than the originally planned high-altitude course in Big Bear Lake.

“I was actually happy not to be at altitude,” she said. ” I didn’t have time to acclimate to it. A good time trialist is good on anything.”

Neal Rogers contributed to this report from Santa Clarita.

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