Evelyn Stevens sets new mark of excellence - 47.980
47.980km in 60 minutes.
And for most of that recording setting time and distance – about 45 minutes – American Evelyn Stevens was a model of speed and consistency, her aero position and focus locked in. “I was just in the zone saying ‘pedal, push, pedal, push,” she said.
Three quarters of the way into her UCI Hour Record Attempt on Saturday at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center Velodrome, Stevens was well on track to set the UCI record, so she lifted the pace.
Then in the final 15 minutes… “You don’t know your limit until you hit your limit, so I think I found it for today,” Stevens said. Yet she didn’t panic. “It was a ton of suffering, but in my head I just kept saying, ‘you can do one more lap… you can do one more lap,’” Stevens said. “There was one moment during it where I thought about Merckx, what he said about it being the worst feeling ever. I was like, oh, yeah, he was right."
And she did just that to become a world record holder, eclipsing by more than a kilometer Australian Bridie O’Donnell’s mark of 46.882. Her record came before a small but vocal live crowd at the velodrome and a large worldwide audience via Internet livestream.
Stevens’ coach Neal Henderson, who used his booming voice to call out splits every single lap, compared her effort to emptying a glass. “She started the race with a full cup of energy and those last drops were coming out in the final couple of kilometers,” Henderson said.
What makes Steven’s performance even more impressive is that she’s not a track racer. She has trained with the U.S. pursuit team, but does not race on the velodrome. She races on the road for the powerhouse Boels-Dolmans Pro Cycling team, which is supported by SRAM, Zipp and Quarq. She’ll soon be headed to Europe for the road racing season with eyes on Rio.
And all of the pre work for the hour record should serve Stevens well out on the road. “Work on that flat power, work on that suffering and taking this into the rest of the season,” she said.
We wish Stevens and her entire support team our congratulations on this inspiring performance.