Cuban cyclist Arlenis Sierra, from Movistar Team, reappeared at a good pace after a brief stay on the island. Today she secured the fifth place in the Danilith Nokere Koerse 2024 Cycling Classic in Belgium.

Sierra crossed the finish line just 22 seconds behind the winner, local Lotte Kopecky, world champion in 2023, who clocked three hours, 15 minutes and 55 seconds in the 127 kilometers.

Kopecky, despite suffering a fall and rejoining the peloton, made the last of several attacks on the day just 14 kilometers from the finish and on a cobblestone climb. She “dragged” six others, including Arlenis.

After the Belgian, 17 seconds later, came her SD Worx teammate Lorena Wiebes, from the Netherlands; and 18 seconds behind her came the American Lily Williams (Human Powered Health) and the Dutch Sofie van Rooijen (VolkerWessels).

Very close crossed the champion of Cuba, seconded by two other Movistar riders, the Dutch Floortje Mackaij and the Danish Emma Norsgaard, both 37 seconds behind the heroine of the day, closing the leading group.

The main “ball”, in which 27 riders rode, arrived with a difference of one minute and 13 seconds, and further behind and dispersed those who completed the 50 who managed to finish this elite women’s one-day race of the world road circuit.

Another 51 participants fell by the wayside. The route of the fifth edition of this race, between the towns of Deinze and Nokere, was so rough, full of cobblestone roads and climbs, and with the sentence line in the middle of the cobbled elevation in Nokereberg, reports the Cyclingnews website.

Among those who did not finish the day were Spanish sisters Laura and Lucía Ruiz, and compatriot Sheyla Gutiérrez, the remaining members of the Movistar sextet.

As in recent years, the competition started in Petegem aan de Leie and included for the first time the climb to Lange Ast at kilometer 14.7. Before reaching the finishing circuits, the peloton went through Hellestraat, Holstraat and Petegemberg.

The last 64.4 kilometers were covered in two local laps in Nokere with a series of cobbled sectors leading to the Nokereberg, which the competitors had to yield a couple of times before the finish.

Arlenis’ next commitment is announced for Sunday in the Italian region of Lombardy, scene of the Alfredo Binda Trophy, in the commune of Cittiglio. In 2017, the Cuban conquered the second place wearing the uniform of the Astana team. That year she made her debut in professional cycling.

Source: Lisset Isabel Ricardo, Semanario Jit