Olympic champion Kiesenhofer signs with Soltec team for the Vuelta

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games - Olimpiadi Tokyo 2020 - Women's Road Race - Musashinonomori Park - Fuji Internetional Speedway 137 km - 25/07/2021 - Anna Kiesenhofer (Austria) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021
Olympic champion Anna Kiesenhofer has joined Spanish team Soltec (Image credit: Luca Bettini/Bettini Photo)

Women's Olympic road race champion Anna Kiesenhofer has joined the Spanish Continental squad Soltec ahead of September's Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta.

The Austrian, who took a surprise solo victory in Tokyo last summer, hasn't raced with a professional team since spending a season with Lotto Soudal back in 2017. However, Murcian team Soltec have announced that the 31-year-old has signed up ahead of the penultimate Women's WorldTour event of 2022.

In a statement released on August 1, the opening day of cycling's transfer window, Soltec noted that Kiesenhofer joined "with the objective to be seen in the mountain stages" of the Ceratizit Challenge.

It was not made clear if Kiesenhofer will ride for the team beyond this year. 

"Kiesenhofer's arrival marks a turning point for Soltec Team," said team manager Marcelino Oliver. "It has been, so far, three years of hard work to create a solid, ambitious project that would allow us to aspire to great goals, and its arrival gives us the definitive impulse.

"Kiesenhofer is the ideal person to lead this [Ceratizit] Challenge by La Vuelta, someone who perfectly represents many of the sporting and human values that this team has always wanted to instil in its members. I admire her work ethic, her perseverance, her honesty, and her professionalism, her sacrifice. Her cycling mentality fits ideally with us.

"The competitive approach of our team changes completely with the arrival of Kiesenhofer. For the team it is a great challenge, a great motivation and allows us to aim high and aspire to win, or be ahead, in the most important race of the Spanish calendar."

Kiesenhofer's arrival lifts the profile of the Soltec team, who have this year raced a limited calendar largely focussed in Spain. The team are set to make their debut at the Ceratizit Challenge this season.

The Olympic champion, who went on to compete at the European and World Championships last season, last raced in June when she finished second in both the road race and time trial at the Austrian National Championships.

At the end of last year, Kiesenhofer, who is a Switzerland-based mathematician, announced that she would continue to race as an independent rider sponsored by Swiss Krono Group until 2024.

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