Stevens wins 2012 Women's Tour of New Zealand


Evelyn Stevens celebrates winning the 2012 Women's Tour of New Zealand. (Photo by Jackson Stewart)
Evelyn Stevens celebrates winning the 2012 Women's Tour of New Zealand. (Photo by Jackson Stewart)
Riding for the USA Cycling National Development Program, Evelyn Stevens (Dennis, Mass./Specialized-lululemon) won the 2012 Women's Tour of New Zealand.

USA Cycling placed three riders in the top 20 in the final general classification, including a pair of women in the top 10, as Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho/Team Exergy Twenty12) finished eighth and Carmen Small (Durango, Colo./Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) finished 17th. Additionally, Ally Stacher (Asheville, N.C./Specialized-lululemon) finished 40th and Addyson Albershardt (Matthews, N.C./NOW and Novartis) was 58th. USA Cycling finished second in the team general classification, 2:09 behind Team GreenEdge.

At least one American rider placed in the top four of each of the five stages, including Armstrong's victory in the opening stage, 7.1-kilometer time trial. After placing second in the second and third stages, Armstrong held the overall lead through the first three stages. Stevens slipped into the yellow jersey after finishing third in the 110-kilometer, mostly uphill fourth stage and didn't relent. Stevens finished fourth in the fifth and final stage to secure the win.

"The team worked incredibly hard over the five stages to defend the yellow," Stevens said. "It was incredible for us to win it. It was close and we really demonstrated fantastic teamwork through the Tour."

Shelly Evans, who was riding for USA Cycling in the race, topped the final general classification in 2010.

Stevens, Small and Armstrong were among the 13 women named to the 2012 women's road Olympic Long Team in December.

For more information, visit the official 2012 Women's Tour of New Zealand site.

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