Lauren Stephens takes home overall and QOM at Joe Martin
Stephens wins general classification eight years after last title in Arkansas
It’s always sweet to win a bike race, but nothing beats winning in front of your friends, family, and home crowd.
On a beautiful, sunny day in Fayetteville, Lauren Stephens sealed the overall and queen of the mountains jersey at the Joe Martin Stage Race after a brilliant week of racing from her and our team.
“It was amazing. I started racing my career here at Joe Martin in 2009, maybe in the [cat] 3/4 race, and I won there. I won a couple of other times but it’s been a long time so I’m really excited,” Lauren said after the finish.
Lauren established her lead in the overall thanks to a dominant performance in the break on stage 2. After putting on a strong time trial in stage 3, she came into the final crit around Fayetteville with over a minute lead over her closest contestant.
The final stage of the Joe Martin Stage Race took on a technical 1.2km course with a challenging uphill finish. Clara Honsinger, Lizzy Banks, and Sara Poidevin put on a great performance protecting Lauren and controlling the peloton on a tricky day out in the saddle.
“The team just rode incredibly today. We weren’t able to start with Emma [Langley] today, there were four and we rode like there were seven,” Lauren said.
With Lizzy Banks back in the squad after two years riddled with injuries and illness, and friends and family in attendance, the whole team celebrated what has been a truly special week of racing together. It’s been so good to be racing in the US again. We can’t wait to be back.
Congrats to the entire team!