Lauren Stephens rode to a convincing silver medal to the current World Champion in the U.S. National Championships Individual Time Trial today in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Stephens was nearly five seconds up on World Champion Amber Neben at the first intermediate time check. Neben came back by checkpoint two and pulled away later in the race to take the win. Stephens finished strongly in 2nd and was over 30 seconds up on the 3rd place rider, Leah Thomas.
Lauren was thrilled with her result, "I am really excited, it’s the first time I have made the national championship podium. I was 5th last year and 4th the year before. To get on the podium and be second to a great World Champion makes me very happy."
Team Founder, Linda Jackson, sees Stephens’ podium result as a strong step toward her goal of making the Worlds Team for the U.S in the time trial: “Lauren showed everyone today what she has shown so many times already, she is a world class time trialist. I think the difference we are seeing this year versus the last two years is that she was forced to take some time off last winter. That rest is paying huge dividends and I only see her getting stronger for the rest of the season. I am very happy for her.”
Ed Beamon, Team Sports Director commented that "Amber is the World Champion for a reason, she rode a really smart tactical race, pacing herself well and finishing strongly. Lauren had a great ride as well. She managed her output and the technical course well. It was a great performance that only the World Champion could beat."
Images: Jonathan Devich