Arunava Bhattacharya, DNI: Mathematics lecturer who picked up professional cycling recently in 2017 bags Gold by defeating reigning champions at the Women’s Road Race in Olympics.
Quite a fairy tale unfolded in the foothills of Mount Fiji as 30-year-old Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer, a full-time mathematics professor bagged in Gold defeating elite cyclists in the Women’s Road Race. This victory probably is the most shocking win in the Olympics and a tale of inspiration for both men and women alike.
Anna Kiesenhofer is a postdoctoral researcher at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL). Even though Anna had previously participated in Triathlon and Duathalon earlier it is worth mentioning that this her first time in the Olympics. At the Olympics she was pitted against an elite quartet of Dutch Cyclists that included 3 times world champion Annemiek Van Vleuten. Anna had taken a lead early in the race of 137km route while going solo beating all the contenders for the last 40 kms of the race.
Anna’s victory marks the second gold in cycling for Austria since 1896 Athens Games which also happens to be the first Olympic game organized in Modern history. She also is the first gold winner for Austria since 2004. An apparent underdog she was underestimated by her contenders, commentors as well as her own team members. What makes Anna’s feat even more interesting is the fact that she only started cycling professionally since 2017. Her closest contender from the Netherlands 38-year-old Annemiek Van Vleuten came in second and bagged a silver.