A former Wall Street analyst just set the new world hour record in cycling

American Evelyn Stevens set a new world hour record in cycling on Saturday.

She rode a distance of 47.980 kilometers (29.81 miles) in one hour at the 7-11 Velodrome in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

She beat the previous record of 46.882 kilometers (29.13 miles) set January 22 by Australian Bridie O’Donnell in Adelaide, Australia.

Stevens, a California native, previously worked in investment banking and finance. She now rides for the Dutch Boels Dolmans Cycling Team.

“It couldn’t have been a more perfect day,” Stevens said after her ride. “Awesome.”

‘One in 10 million talent’

Stevens’ first coach, Matthew Koschara, told Business Insider in 2014 he was not surprised by her success.

He said she is a “one in 10 million” talent.

“She has the right appetite, physiologically and psychologically,” Koschara said. “She’s old school, she’s hard core — she’s a fighter.”

He pointed to Stevens’ remarkable power-to-weight ratio, and although he would not reveal stats from the time he coached Stevens, he said her three- and 10-minute power numbers, measured in watts, were “huge.”

At five-foot-six and 120 pounds, she’s compact and very powerful.

She was beaming after setting the new world record:

Well, that makes it official!

— USA Cycling (@usacycling) February 27, 2016

“It’s not common that you get the chance to set a new World Record … I just want to celebrate with everyone now!” Stevens said, according to the International Cycling Union (UCI), the sport’s governing body.

For a time, the related hashtag #UCIHourRecord trended worldwide on Twitter, race announcers said.

“I would like to congratulate ‘Evie’ on her achievement,” UCI President Brian Cookson added. “Bridie O’Donnell’s record stood for five weeks and we have already seen two attempts this year despite only being in February.

The attempt

Stevens was all smiles when she entered the velodrome.

She looked at ease, and confident.

Evelyn Stevens hour record attempt entranceUCI/YouTube

Her coach, Neal Henderson, is an expert when it comes to the hour record.

He and Stevens started training seriously in November.

Neal Henderson cycling coach Evelyn Stevens hour recordUCI/YouTube

Her trained a former world hour-record holder, Rohan Dennis of Australia.

Before the event started, she bowed her head for the national anthem.

American Stevens sets cycling hour record pledgeUCI/YouTube

Here was Stevens awaiting the start:

Stevens sets new cycling hour record startUCI/YouTube

This is Stevens on the very first lap. After getting up to speed, she got set into her aero tuck.

It would be a very long and painful hour of effort.


This was the bike — made by California-based Specialized — that Stevens set the record on:

Evelyn Stevens hour record bikeUCI/YouTube

The velodrome is normally open air, but it was covered temporarily for this event.

Built in 1983, it features a 333.3-meter (1,093.5-foot) banked track for cycling on a cement surface. It’s at about 6,000 feet above sea level and is climate-controlled.

All of which made for just about ideal conditions for Stevens.

Evelyn Stevens 7 11 Velodrome hour recordUCI/YouTube

This GIF below shows GoPro footage previously taken on the track.

Stevens is said to have used the footage as part of her training to help her visualize her successful effort.


It all paid off — she smashed the previous record by over one kilometer:


Her coach was thrilled:


She broke the record handily, having ridden at nearly 30 mph for one hour.

Evie Stevens: at one point halfway through I almost puked so I backed off a bit.

— Mary Topping (@butterflywriter) February 27, 2016

Officially 47.980 km for

— USA Cycling (@usacycling) February 27, 2016

From Wall Street to the open road

After graduating from Dartmouth in 2005, Stevens worked as an analyst for Lehman Brothers before taking a job as an associate at investment fund Gleacher Mezzanine (known today as Arrowhead).

Four hours’ sleep a night. Seven-day workweeks. Diet Cokes around the clock. This was Stevens’ life on Wall Street.

Years on, and far from Wall Street, Stevens now ranks among the world’s best cyclists.

Stevens said she approaches cycling as she did investment banking: with tenacity. After turning pro, she dedicated herself completely — she was “hyper-focused” — just as when she’d started her business career.

“With investment banking and finance, it’s not a world you gradually go into it,” she said. “It’s not like I started and they told me, ‘Take your time, get comfortable, leave at 5 p.m.’ You’re on deals, you’re operating on a high level quickly.

“If you want to get to that high level, you have to go after it,” she said. “Investment banking is like pro cycling: It’s not a career you have for 30 years. You realize, ‘I’m going for it.’ For my career in cycling, every day it’s like, ‘What do I need to do better? What do I need to train?’ You can’t become complacent.”

At 32, she’s in the prime of her career.

Even before setting the hour record on Saturday, she had major victories crowding her palmarès, or race résumé.

Evelyn Stevens sets new hour record cyclingHarry How/Getty Images

It all started in late 2007. While on vacation in San Francisco, Stevens’ sister talked her into doing a local cyclocross race, which at first seemed like a crazy idea.

She’d played tennis in college, went to the gym, and did some running. But rarely did she ride a bike, let alone race one.

And yet there, in Golden Gate Park, at age 25, she raced for the first time, on a borrowed bike.

She crashed and got banged up, but she finished and was immediately hooked — “in love” even.

“I was like, ‘This is awesome — this is for me,'” she told Business Insider in 2014 about that first race.

Evelyn Stevens Wall Street business cycling photoEthan GladingStevens speaking with Business Insider in fall 2014.

She is targeting the Olympics in Rio this summer.

“You don’t know your limit until you hit it. I think I found it today.”–@evelyn_stevens#UCIHourRecord

— John Bradley (@johnwbradley) February 27, 2016

“Cycling is a very finite sport, kind of like the world of finance, but magnified,” she previously told Business Insider. “There’s highs, there’s lows, and you see it so instantaneously — the crashes, the wins.

“I’ve had some big wins, but I’m not at the top level yet. So it’s like, ‘What do I need to do to become top level?’ I think it’s the same in finance. For those moving up that ladder, they’re constantly looking and thinking, ‘How do you do it differently? How do you do it better?’ It’s a constantly moving process.”

You can watch highlights of Stevens’ record-breaking ride here.

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