Olympic champion Anna Kiesenhofer signs for Israel-Premier Tech Roland
The Austrian had been due to ride for B&B Hotels before its demise.
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Israel-Premier Tech Roland has made a late addition to its team with Olympic champion Anna Kiesenhofer.
The Austrian was a surprise winner of the road race in Tokyo after going solo from the breakaway and holding off the pre-race favorites.
Following her win, Kiesenhofer put her career as a mathematician on ice to focus on her racing and made a guest appearance with the Soltec team at the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta, almost replicating her Olympics win with a solo ride on stage 4. Her signing puts Israel-Premier Tech Roland’s roster size up to 13, though it is still the smallest WorldTeam.
“I am very happy to join Israel-Premier Tech Roland. The environment and equipment are ideal for me to perform at my best in some of the most important races of the Women’s WorldTour calendar. In particular, I want to target the Tour de France and other hard stage races. I’m excited about this new challenge. It won’t be easy but I think we have a great team and will deliver some surprises this year.”
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While Kiesenhofer was effectively an amateur when she won her Olympic title, her move to Israel-Premier Tech Roland is not her first foray into professional racing. The 31-year-old rode with Lotto Soudal in 2017, but decided to quit the team after deciding that she didn’t like bunch racing.
However, her performance at the Vuelta showed that she can mix it in the peloton with the top riders. She was due to sign for the proposed new B&B Hotels women’s squad this season, but she was left scrabbling for a new contract when the team dramatically collapsed late last year.
Kiesenhofer will add a serious amount of power to the Israel lineup and a level of experience in a relatively young roster as it fights for survival in the Women’s WorldTour this season.
“It’s an honor to have the Olympic road race champion racing in the IPTR colors so we are very excited to welcome Anna Kiesenhofer to the team. Anna is extremely talented and races courageously as we saw with her Tokyo win, and again last year when she narrowly missed the stage win at Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta. She will be a great addition to the team and help us as we continue our development in the Women’s WorldTour,” team manager Rubens Contreras said.
The team confirmed that Afghan road race champion Fariba Hashimi,, who the team signed last October, will start her season with the new development squad before stepping into the elite team midway through the season.
“We have made a big step up with our 2023 roster and I am looking forward to seeing what our riders can do this year. Alongside our new recruits, we also have Afghan road race champion Fariba Hashimi,” Contreras said.
In order to give Fariba more time to develop, she will start the year with the Israel-Premier Tech Roland Development team before stepping up to the WorldTeam in the middle of the year. Our Israel-Premier Tech Roland Academy is founded with the purpose of giving the next generation of riders a chance to succeed, no matter their background, and we are proud to have such a diverse roster,”