Evelyn Stevens gained national attention when she quit her Wall Street job three years ago to follow her Olympic dream.
“I left my job and decided I'm going to go for it,” Stevens said as she trained at her team’s preseason camp in Carlsbad.
Now, her dream has been realized.
Stevens won the Exergy Tour following a final-stage breakaway, firmly cementing her claim to a berth on the U.S. Olympic team for the London Games.
"It's an honor to race here and it's an honor to represent the United States, hopefully," Stevens said after Monday’s final stage.
"I'm a little bit later to the sport of cycling, so hopefully people can hear my story and realize it's never too late or never too early."
At a post-race press conference, Stevens said she had no regrets about leaving the investment fund where she worked until 2009, Gleacher Mezzanine.
"This is a lot better than investment banking," she said.
The Exergy Tour had been anticipated as a showdown between three U.S. women: Stevens, the 2011 U.S. time trial champ; Amber Neben, of Lake Forest, Calif., the 2008 world champion; and 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medalist Kristin Armstrong, from Boise.
Armstrong crashed on the first day of Exergy, suffering a broken collarbone.
After undergoing surgery Friday, Armstrong said she'd already pedaled her bicycle around her Boise neighborhood and was planning to train in a wind tunnel in San Diego later this week.
"I was going to take a break after the Exergy Tour, anyway," Armstrong said, before Monday's final stage.
Armstrong believes her own Olympic time trial hopes are intact, after beating Stevens in three races earlier this year.
"As far as selection criteria goes, I don't have any worries in my mind," Armstrong said.
USA Cycling makes its selection on June 15. The United States will likely field a team of four riders, two of whom will ride the London time trial.
Like Armstrong and Neben, Stevens said she's hoping to be one of them.