The Amgen Tour of California Women’s Time Trial was a battle between Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon) and Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS) who started 30 seconds behind Stevens. Powers made her move on the technical descent and was able to catch Stevens mid way through the course. Stevens was able to ride away from Powers on the steep climb. Kristin McGrath (Exergy TWENTY16) came in third.
US time trial champion Amber Neben (Pasta Zara-Cogeas) lost control on a fast, twisty descent and crashed into a rocky wall. It has been confirmed that Neben has a broken hip.
See more photos in the gallery.
Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon)
“I was really looking forward to this race. It’s an excellent course with some great technical sections, some wide open sections where the wind played a big part and quite a lot of climbing. It was the longest time trial I’ve ever done which was really good for me to experience, and the fact that it finished at the top of a really hard climb suited me perfectly. I had a feeling Alison Powers was going to make some time on me early in the race and I knew I had to stay patient and stick to our plan. We had been over the course and the plan quite a few times in the days leading into the race and I knew I had to keep my pace up to the climb and then give everything on the climb.”
Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS)
“That was the hardest time trial I have ever done. We had a flat full on with a gutsy headwind. That felt like going uphill. The climb was…you just get up it. I tried to leave as much as I could on the course to just get up that climb. I did a bike change at the bottom of the climb. I pre-rode this course twice and knowing how steep this climb was and a time trial bike with a disc is super heavy. Alison (Powers) did the same thing. For me when I get to a certain grade I have to come out of the bars. It was worth wasting two seconds to make the bike change.”
Brianna Walle (Optum p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies)
“It’s really a type of time trial that suits everyone. There is some power climbing section, a grinding section, a flat, windy section. It really had something for every rider. It was all about the pacing and being smart about the pacing. I am kind of a power rider. I wanted to power through it but I knew about the hill. I think everyone was thing the same thing…to pace to the last climb. At 5K to go was a place to try to recover as much as possible. I tried to keep the climbing steady. The pitches were like 10% to 15% and I would get out of my saddle and punch it. It really was all about keeping the rhythm.”
Jade Wilcoxson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies)
“I was just riding my own pace and not really thinking of anyone. I just tried to settle in and hope for the best. I did get kicked around once by a strong wind gust, which made my heart skip a beat, but actually I was hoping for wind because I am a bigger girl. The wind actually plays to my strengths. It does not bather me a bit. It’s a great course. The thing that is great about this course is that every climb was a different grade. That caters to a different strength. There were some flat sections. I thought going into the race it was going to be about who paced themselves the best.”
Tayler Wiles (Specialized-lululemon)
“It was a great course. It had a little bit of everything. I am not a climber. I am more of an all-rounder so I was excited about this race. I wasn’t going to do a bike change but got a flat with 2K to go and ended up switching. It felt good on my road bike but I did lose a bit of time with the switch. I think it was a rider’s selection. If you think you can climb in a time trial bike, like my team mate Evie (Stevens), then you just flew up the climb in a time trial bike. It was a big pacing strategy. You don’t want to save too much. My pacing strategy was to hold what I could and then go up the climb as fast as I could. it’s such a steep climb that you are going hard whether you want to or not. I was just surviving up the climb. I am really glad that we have the time trial and hope that one day we will have a stage race.”
Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective)
“I did use the Tour of Gila to prep for this time trial. Time trailing is different from cyclocross. It’s hard and it has suffering but you need practice trying to stay in the red zone and just pushing through it. I had a good ride today. I am happy with the first part of it. I felt good on the flatter sections. The climb was really hard. I did not do a bike change. With cross I am used to changing bikes. It was unfortunate that I did not know I could prior to fling out here. It was great training and it was fun pushing hard in front of a good crowd.”