Olympic champion Anna Kiesenhofer linked with return to full-time racing at Jérôme Pineau’s team

The Austrian has stepped away from her teaching career to focus on racing following her Olympic victory in 2021.

Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

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Olympic champion Anna Kiesenhofer could return to professional racing with Jérôme Pineau’s B&B Hotels team in 2023, provided the team can find the funds it needs to race next season.

VeloNews understands that Kiesenhofer wants to race full-time again and is one of the 12 riders signed up to the French squad, which is set to include French champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot.

Pineau announced in the summer that he hoped to boost the finances of his squad and add a women’s team as well as a development setup with reports of a budget of around 20 million Euros. However, the future of the team is uncertain as Pineau waits to hear back from key backers over the next week.

Kiesenhofer was thrown into the world spotlight last season after she upset the favorites with a dramatic solo win in the road race at the Tokyo Olympic Games. She was part of an early breakaway and held off a late chase from Annemiek van Vleuten to win the gold medal.

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The Austrian rider had spent a year as a professional with Lotto Soudal in 2017 but decided to take a step back from the sport at the end of that year. She did continue to race but split her time between cycling and her career as a mathematician and teacher.

Following her victory in Tokyo, Kiesenhofer took a step back from her mathematics career at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and has been racing more frequently.

She made a guest appearance at the Challenge by La Vuelta in September for the Soltec Team, which was considered something of a test ahead of a potential return to full-time racing. Kiesenhofer almost repeated her Olympic victory with a 155-kilometer solo breakaway on stage 4, though she was caught with 1.5 kilometers to go.

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