The best Cuban cyclist of the last 10 years, Arlenis Sierra, signed her most outstanding performance in the World Road Cycling Championships, finishing fifth this Saturday in the road event of the world competition, which is based in Belgium and will conclude this Sunday with the same event, but between men.
In an excellent day for pedaling, the Antillean ignored being alone within a platoon of 162 runners and with excellent tactics she was able to stay among the forefront of the 157.7-kilometer race, won by the Italian Elisa Balsamo, escorted in the podium for the Dutch Marianne Vos and the Polish Katarzyna Niewiadoma, while the Hungarian Blanka Vas was fourth.
Although the difference between the first 16 was only barely a second with the new monarch, Arlenis told exclusively, via whatsapp, that “with five kilometers left I went to look for the group of escapees and I reached them, but my legs did not give me for the final sprint, I ran out of strength”.
The multi-champion Pan-American and world bronze in the points race in 2016 valued this fourth World Cup foray on the road as a cherished dream. “I saw the medal very close. The desires to obtain it were many. However, this fifth place means an excellent result, especially since I raced alone, without equipment and I wore out a lot during the almost 160 kilometers”.
Accompanied by her coach and her partner in her life, Leandro Marcos, the Manzanillera told how difficult the programmed design was, in which there were hills, cobblestones and two circuits with planes and elevations. “It was very tough and here were all the world and Olympic medalists. No one was missing. Only that I decided well when and how I should attack and I was always able to stay among the first”.
“It is a result that I dedicate to my whole family, to friends who never tire of giving me encouragement and especially to those who follow each of the results of Cuban cycling,” said Arlenis, who had his best performance in these races in the 2019 with a twelfth place, because in 2018 he debuted with the 27th place and last year he did not do well and concluded in step 39.
Happy, very enthusiastic and grateful for the exclusive call, Arlenis Sierra confirmed that “road cycling is one of the most risky in this sport, but very comforting. Today is one of those days when I will sleep happily. I gave it my all and saw the medal in my eyes. This September 25 it is impossible to forget”.
Our continent, in addition to Arlenis, placed two more girls in the top ten: Canadian Alison Jackson (6) and American Coryn Rivera (10), Other Northerners, Ruth Winder, from the United States, finished in 21, while Karol-Ann Canuel, from Canada, ranked 31st.
The rest of the representatives of America were well away from the leaders. The Colombians Paula Andrea Patino (42), Diana Carolina Penuela (98) and Yenny Lorena Colmenares (117) were below expectations, the Americans Kristen Faulkner (52), Leah Thomas (56), Tayler Wiles (71) and Lauren Stephens (106) completed a task that already had their medalist; while the Canadian Leah Kirchmann entered in the 63rd place and the Mexican Yareli Salazar in the 99th.