Evelyn (Evie) Stevens didn't fall in love with biking as a kid. She was athletic and enjoyed sports. But racing two wheelers? That was her sister Angela's territory.
"She's always been a cycling enthusiast." Stevens told CNBC. "I never understood what she was so into when she talked about these cycling races."
Stevens, a Massachusetts native who played tennis at Dartmouth, humored her sister and brother-in-law by joining them on a cyclo-cross race in San Francisco in the fall of 2007. She was 24 years old and had never competed in cycling before. She didn't win a medal but she did embrace her sister's passion for the sport.
About a month after returning home to New York City, Stevens bought herself a bike. Still she wasn't exactly on the fast track to becoming a professional cyclist. "In the beginning, I was so nervous to ride it outside that I just had my purses, my clothing hanging on it," Stevens said.
Plus, her job on Wall Street didn't leave her much time to pedal around town. She was working at investment fund Gleacher Mezzanine having left Lehman Brothers shortly before the firm filed for bankruptcy. It was 2008 and the entire financial industry was spiraling out of control. That's when Stevens made the wise decision to start riding that bike. "And then I was kind of hooked," Stevens said. "I started racing all summer."