Arlenis Sierra (Astana Women’s Team) is a versatile rider. Although often labelled a sprinter, the Cuban is a strong climber too. That versatility brought her success in the final UCI Women’s WorldTour race of the 2018 season. She won the sprint at the Tour of Guangxi after two climbs had reduced the peloton, shedding several other fast finishers.
There were more difficulties to overcome than the climbs alone with the race run in rainy and foggy conditions. Mechanical issues also provided an additional challenge for the Cuban.
“I had a puncture a few kilometres before the first climb but managed to come back to the bunch,” Sierra explained. “In the final kilometre I chose to follow Barnes’ wheel, I did a good sprint and got this wonderful victory. I’m incredibly happy, it is the best way to end the season. I thank God for making me capable of doing this and obviously the whole team for their support.”
The win in Guangxi caps off a strong season for the 25-year-old. It is Sierra’s second WorldTour victory of the season after she won the final stage of the Women’s Tour of California in May. She also took the Pan American road race title a week before California.
Astana Women’s Team sports director Aldo Piccolo was overjoyed with the result as well, praising his star rider for staying competitive to the end of the season. “After the World Championships it is easy to lose a bit of focus, but Arlenis has been great these last weeks. Despite the rain we saw a lot of people on the road cheering for the riders, and it was nice to have the award ceremony together with the men’s race.”
At the award ceremony, the team could also were also able to celebrate Sofia Bertizzolo, who received the light blue jersey as winner of the UCI Women’s WorldTour youth classification, after a strong showing through the whole year.
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