UCI hour record holder Evelyn Stevens joins Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team for her first road race of the season on Sunday at the Trofeo Alfreda Binda. Stevens played an instrumental role in world champion Lizzie Armitstead’s victory last year and hopes to have a similar impact this year.
“I’m really looking forward to joining the team at Cittiglio,” said Stevens. “It’s been fun to watch them have so much success this spring, and I’m pumped to be part of the team. It will be my first race of the season, so of course there are some unknowns about my form, but I’m really looking forward to helping the team for this race.”
The third round of the UCI Women’s World Cup is the hilliest yet. Previously a World Cup, the one-day Italian held in Cittiglio, a province of Varese in northern Italy, features a new departure point in Gavirate. The peloton covers a “transfer route” between Gavirate and Cittiglio before tackling one large loop, featuring the first QOM in Cunardo, followed by four times around the 17.8-kilometre local circuit. The smaller circuit is rolling and includes the Orino QOM, which typically serves as the scene of the race’s decisive selection.
“Cittiglio has a little bit of everything,” noted Stevens. “It’s one of those unrelenting courses. We have a really strong team that’s ready to tackle whatever the day brings.”
Last year, Armitstead won the Trofeo Alfredo Binda from a group of six that formed on the penultimate lap. The world champion parlayed a perfectly timed sprint victory into her first World Cup victory of the season – and went on to win two additional World Cups and the series overall.
Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team has the team to beat during the first two rounds of the UCI Women’s WorldTour with Armitstead taking the win at Strade Bianche and Chantal Blaak following suit at Ronde van Drenthe. The duo sits second (Blaak) and third (Armitstead) overall in the UCI Women’s WorldTour rankings following last weekend’s race in Drenthe. They will be joined by Megan Guarnier, Karol-Ann Canuel and Kasia Pawlowska, in addition to Stevens, on the start line in Gavirate.
“This is my first Women’s WorldTour race,” said Stevens. “I think the series is a great step forward for women’s cycling, but it will be interested to see how it changes things from previous years. That said, I’m looking forward to taking part in my first Women’s WorldTour race.”
Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team for Trofeo Alfredo Binda:
Lizzie Armitstead, Chantal Blaak, Karol-Ann Canuel, Megan Guarnier, Kasia Pawlowska, Evelyn Stevens
Follow the Trofeo Alfredo Binda live on team twitter (@boelsdolmansct), head mechanic’s Richard Steege’s twitter feed (@richiesteege) and using the official hashtags #TRBinda and #UCIWWT. For additional information on how to follow Sunday’s race, this guide by Sarah Connolly of Pro Women’s Cycling is a good resource.