Evie Stevens rode an incredible hour under the dome in Colorado Springs to capture the UCI hour record by over a kilometre on Saturday. Covering 47.980 kilometres, Stevens missed the all-time mark set by Jeannie Longo 20 years ago with the “superman” position by a mere 200 metres but holds the official UCI hour record in modern times and under modern regulations.
“Today was the opportunity to be great,” said Stevens. “It’s not common that you get a chance to set a world record.”
UCI rules require a standing start, so Stevens used the first lap to get up to speed. Following a 30-second opening lap, Stevens quickly settled into a rhythm and consistently hit laps around 24.8 seconds on the 333-metre track.
“It couldn’t have been a more perfect day with the temperature, pressure, a lot of other things that I don’t totally understand,” she said with a laugh. “I had the best equipment out there, skinsuit, everything, so you know, I was able to hit my split times.”
That equipment included a Specialized Shiv modified specifically for Saturday’s ride with Zipp wheels – a 909 front disc and a super 9 rear disc – and a UFO-coated SRAM 22 model chain. Stevens raced in her Boels-Dolmans Bioracer speedsuit with the previous record (46.882km set by Australian Bridie O’Donnell) printed on the sleeve.
“I worked a lot on the mental aspect,” said Stevens. “In the beginning, I just wanted to stay calm. In the end, I think anyone who saw me saw that I was going in S-shaped turns.”
When she was deep in the pain cave, Stevens relied on the support of those inside the velodrome and those cheering virtually to urge her forward faster.
“I can’t believe this many people came to watch me,” she said of the packed track. “Knowing that made me go even harder. […] I think the coolest thing about today is the support. I just want to celebrate with everyone who came out.”
The new record-holder is Europe bound next week.
“It’s back to Boulder, to the Phinney’s house, for a few days and then back to San Francisco,” said Stevens. “Then I head to Europe for the season. I can’t wait to join my teammates who are kicking butt over there. “
Foto: © USA Cycling/Casey B. Gibson