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Anna Kiesenhofer
3rd stage of the Tour de l'Ardèche
Personal information
Full name Anna Kiesenhofer
Born 14 February 1991 (1991-02-14) (age 30)
Niederkreuzstetten, Austria
Height 165cm
Team information
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type Time trialist
Major wins
One-day races and Classics
Olympic Road Race (2020)
National Road Race Championships (2019)
National Time Trial Championships (2019, 2020, 2021)

Anna Kiesenhofer (born 14 February 1991) is an Austrian cyclist, mathematician and olympian. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in mathematics at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Kiesenhofer won the gold medal in the women's individual road race at the 2020 Summer Olympics, the first Summer Olympics gold medal for Austria since 2004 and their first cycling Olympic gold medal since 1896.

Academic career

Kiesenhofer studied mathematics at the Technical University of Vienna (2008–11), completing her Master's degree at University of Cambridge (2011–12). She earned her PhD at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia with her thesis on Integrable systems on b-symplectic manifolds in 2016. Kiesenhofer is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and is part of a group researching nonlinear partial differential equations which arise in mathematical physics.

Cycling career

Kiesenhofer participated in triathlon and duathlon from 2011 to 2013. After an injury, she had to limit her running and therefore concentrated on cycling from 2014. She joined the Catalan team Frigoríficos Costa Brava – Naturalium. In 2015, she participated in cyclo-sports, including the Gran Fondo New York, which ends at Mont Ventoux and won. She entered the Tour de l'Ardèche but she was the victim of a fall on the first stage. She failed to recover and after several difficult stages decided to withdraw.

In 2016, she won the Coupe d'Espagne. In September, she took part in the Tour de l'Ardèche in the international team. On the third stage, the first breakaway started at the 12th kilometer. It was composed of Dani Christmas, Anna Plichta, Sara Olsson, Vita Heine and Silvia Valsecchi. Twenty kilometers away, they were joined by Kiesenhofer. In the descent of the pass of Murs, the groups were seven minutes and twenty-five seconds ahead. After Blavac, Anna Plichta went off alone and she had a lead of a minute thirty at the foot of Mont Ventoux. On the ascent, Kiesenhofer joined her. She won the stage by almost four minutes over Flávia Oliveira and she took the lead in the overall standings. The next day, Flávia Oliveira escaped in turn and she took Kiesenhofer's pink jersey. She kept her second place in the overall standings until the end of the race.

In July 2021, as Austria's sole representative in the 137 km-long Olympic women's road race in Tokyo, Japan, she won the gold medal in the race, crossing the finish line 75 seconds in front of Annemiek van Vleuten. Kiesenhofer trained for the event without a coach or a professional team, and was not viewed as a contender to win a medal. In the race, she initiated a breakaway from the start, and was joined by four other competitors. With 86 km to go, the leading group, now down to Kiesenhofer, Omer Shapira, and Anna Plichta, formed a 10-minute advantage over the chasing peloton. Kiesenhofer broke away by herself for the final 41 km while climbing the Kagosaka Pass, dropping Shapira and Plichta, who were later caught by the peloton. Many in the peloton, including Van Vleuten, finished the race unaware that Kiesenhofer was still in front of them. Kiesenhofer later said she "couldn't believe" she won adding that she would have been happy with a top 25 finish. CNN called it "one of the biggest shocks in Olympics history".

Major results

2016
2nd Overall Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche
1st Stage 3
2nd Time trial, National Road Championships
2019
National Road Championships
1st MaillotAustria.PNG Time trial
1st MaillotAustria.PNG Road race
5th Ljubljana–Domžale–Ljubljana TT
5th Time trial, European Road Championships
8th Chrono des Nations
2020
1st MaillotAustria.PNG Time trial, National Road Championships
3rd Overall Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche
2021
1st Gold medal olympic.svg Road race, Olympic Games
1st MaillotAustria.PNG Time trial, National Road Championships
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