The Cuban champion gave everything in the last stage of the Herald Sun Tour: she takes the podium and points classification
Strength, courage and determination are the three words that better describe Arlenis Sierra‘s performance in the second and final stage of the Herald Sun Tour: on the endless ascent of Falls Creek the captain of the Astana Women’s Team has in fact given everything and even more to defend the yellow jersey on a course not ideal for her characteristics, and in the end she was forced to raise the white flag when there were just 400 meters to go. But this intense effort was not in vain because Sierra still managed to conquer third place in the final general classification of the Australian race, and was also rewarded by the victory in the points classification.
Compared to the original plans, the organizers were forced to change the route of the stage: for safety reasons, in fact, they cancelled the first 30 kilometers downhill, given the wet road that could be a problem, while the last 45 kilometers remained unchanged with the 30-kilometer ascent to Falls Creek. On the final climb Arlenis Sierra ride really well, controlling her opponents and following all the most dangerous attacks: as mentioned, her legs only failed in the last 400 meters and she crossed the finish line in fifth position 31″ behind the winner. In the overall classification Sierra finished third just 22″ behind Lucy Kennedy.
Noteworthy is also the good performance of the young Italian Katia Ragusa who finished the stage in twelfth position and was therefore eleventh in the general classification: a very encouraging beginning of the 2020 season for the new signing of the Astana Women’s Team which had previously been eighth in the Tour Down Under and 16th in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.