The Movistar Team has further underpinned its foundations for the upcoming seasons by retaining one of its women’s program’s best riders, Arlenis Sierra (Manzanillo, CUB; 1992). The Cuban all-rounder has extended her contract for a further three years from 2024-2026.
Sierra has proved herself to be a great sprinter and rouleur who copes well with the mid mountains and possesses extraordinary skills inside the peloton and enormous class on the bike. The ‘Panther’ as she is known, has amassed a fine palmarès, seven victories over two seasons as a Blue: a Pan-American road race title, a WorldTour win in the Tour de Romandie, the GC and two stages of the Vuelta a Andalucía – all of this in 2022 – plus the ITT and RR wins in the Central American and Caribbean Games in El Salvador last July.
Sierra joins a Blue roster that now has 14 riders confirmed for the upcoming season. The current list also includes Aude Biannic (FRA), Jelena Erić (SRB), Sarah Gigante (AUS), Sheyla Gutiérrez (ESP), Liane Lippert (GER), Floortje Mackaij (NED), Sara Martín (ESP), Mareille Meijering (NED), Emma Norsgaard (DEN), Paula Patiño (COL), Laura Ruiz (ESP), Lucía Ruiz (ESP) and Claire Steels (GBR).
Of her continuation with the squad, Arlenis Sierra said, “It’s a somewhat ‘challenging’ choice, because three years is a long period and, in my case, I don’t feel like there’s many seasons left in my legs. But the atmosphere in this team is the main reason I’ve chosen to extend for that long. Above all, I want to be where I feel at ease as a person, and after that, try and find my place as a rider and give it my all. When you enter a new ‘house’, with a new ‘family’, you usually need a bit of time to get on well with the other people, yet everything here worked well from the get-go, and that’s one of the best things I’ve extracted from the time in the Movistar Team. You’ll always come across those little problems along the way, but with the riders we’ve got here, I really feel part of a family, one that you almost share more time with than the one you’ve got back at home.
I don’t undervalue the victories and results I had obtained in the years before my signing, yet over the last two seasons, at WorldTour races – maybe not by amount of victories in 2023, while I was as regular as the year before that – I’ve always been able to stay at the front. I will also take with me the satisfaction of having shared teams with Annemiek van Vleuten for the last two years. She’s someone you’ve got to admire, a true example as a sportsperson, someone who has achieved success not many people across all sports can dream of getting. Who knows if we will come across each other in the future – I hope it happens!”