Movistar completes strengthened 14-rider women’s squad with Arlenis Sierra

Movistar Women adds just two riders to its squad for 2022 with Arlenis Sierra and Sarah Gigante joining the Annemiek van Vleuten-led squad.

Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images

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Cuban star Arlenis Sierra will complete a bolstered Movistar women’s team in 2022.

The 28-year-old joins climber Sarah Gigante as one of just two new signings for the Spanish squad next year, strengthening what is already a formidable 14-rider line-up.

Sierra closed out her season with victory at the Tre Valli Verasine earlier this month, her fifth victory of the year, after a runner-up ride at the Giro dell’Emilia and fifth at the worlds in Flanders.

Also read: Movistar women’s team wants to win it all – and here’s how they’re making it happen

She’s well-known for her fast finish but she can handle tough terrain and beat Ruth Winder and, her soon-to-be teammate Annemiek van Vleuten to win the Navarra Women’s Elite Classic in May.

“I’m so thankful to the team for their confidence. They really want to help me continue to develop myself and reach my best potential. I want to take advantage from this new experience, make the most out of this two-year contract, achieve even better results, and improve as a rider and person,” Sierra said.

Sierra turned professional with the Astana women’s team back in 2017 and has remained with them ever since. The squad was taken over by Mexican owners for the 2021 season and operated under the name A.R. Monex.

The changing face of Movistar

The Movistar women’s team has stayed largely the same in recent years with a few key tweaks to bring on some key riders. Last year saw van Vleuten and Emma Norsgaard come on board, giving the existing squad two strong leaders to rally around.

Securing both riders was a big coup for the team and helped them leap-frog from also-rans in the Women’s WorldTour to major players. Between them, the pair has won 18 races for the team and helped them climb to third in the world standings behind SD Worx and Trek-Segafredo.

Also read: Emma Norsgaard: ‘It sounds so cliché, but I want to win everything’

Van Vleuten and Norsgaard were two of just four signings for Movistar for 2021, and the team has also been limited in its trading for next season with two riders leaving and two coming on board. Leah Thomas is off to Trek-Segafredo after securing a last-minute deal with Movistar at the end of last season, while Alba Teruel is also off after four years with the team.

The signing of Sierra for 2022 adds another clear-cut potential winner to the team, while Gigante — along with existing rider Katerine Aalerud and Sara Martín — boost the climbing squad behind van Vleuten and provides Movistar with future stars to pin their hopes on.

Movistar Women’s 2022 line-up

Katrine Aalerud (NOR)
Aude Biannic (FRA)
Jelena Erić (SRB)
Alicia González (ESP)
Barbara Guarischi (ITA)
Sheyla Gutiérrez (ESP)
Sara Martín (ESP)
Emma Norsgaard (DEN)
Lourdes Oyarbide (ESP)
Paula Patiño (COL)
Gloria Rodríguez (ESP)
Annemiek van Vleuten (NED
Sarah Gigante (AUS)
Arlenis Sierra (CUB)

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