Anna Kiesenhofer

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Anna Kiesenhofer
Kiesenhofer at the 2022 European Championships
Born (1991-02-14) 14 February 1991 (age 33)
Cycling career
Personal information
Height165 cm (5 ft 5 in)
Team information
Rider typeTime trialist
Amateur teams
Professional teams
2017Lotto–Soudal Ladies
2023Israel Premier Tech Roland
Major wins
One-day races and Classics
Olympic Road Race (2020)
National Road Race Championships (2019)
National Time Trial Championships (2019, 2020, 2021)
Medal record
Women's road cycling
Representing  Austria
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 2020 Tokyo Road race
Scientific career
ThesisIntegrable systems on b-symplectic manifolds (2016)
Doctoral advisorEva Miranda

Anna Kiesenhofer (born 14 February 1991) is an Austrian professional cyclist and mathematician, who rides for UCI Women's Team Israel Premier Tech Roland.[1] She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in mathematics at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

Kiesenhofer gained fame when she 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.[2] Unfancied for a medal pre-race, she attacked in the first seconds of the event and soloed to victory, her pursuers mistakenly unaware of her position, in a win described as "one of the greatest upsets in Olympics and cycling history".[3]

Academic career[edit]

Kiesenhofer studied mathematics at the Vienna University of Technology (2008–11), completing her Master's degree at the Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge (2011–12).[4] She earned her PhD at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia with her thesis on Integrable systems on b-symplectic manifolds in 2016.[5] Kiesenhofer was a postdoctoral researcher at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and was part of a group researching nonlinear partial differential equations which arise in mathematical physics.[6][7] Kiesenhofer has authored several scholarly journal articles including:

  • Braddell, R., Kiesenhofer, A., & Miranda, E. (2020). -Structures on Lie groups and Poisson reduction.
  • Kiesenhofer, A., & Krieger, J. (2021). Small data global regularity for half-wave maps in dimensions. Communications in Partial Differential Equations, 46(12), 2305–2324.
  • Braddell, R., Kiesenhofer, A., & Miranda, E. (2018). A -symplectic slice theorem.
  • Kiesenhofer, A., & Miranda, E. (2017). Cotangent Models for Integrable Systems. Communications in Mathematical Physics, 350(3), 1123–1145.
  • Kiesenhofer, A., & Miranda, E. (2016). Noncommutative integrable systems on b-symplectic manifolds. Regular & Chaotic Dynamics, 21(6), 643–659.

Cycling career[edit]

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.[8]

In 2016, she won the Coupe d'Espagne.[9] 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.[10] The next day, Flávia Oliveira escaped in turn and she took Kiesenhofer's pink jersey.[11] She kept her second place in the overall standings until the end of the race.[12]

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, crossing the finish line 75 seconds in front of Annemiek van Vleuten of the Netherlands.[2][13] Kiesenhofer trained for the event without a coach or a professional team, and was not viewed as a contender to win a medal.[13][14] In the race, she initiated a breakaway from the start, and was joined by four other competitors.[13] 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.[2] 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.[13][15] Many in the peloton, including silver medalist Van Vleuten who celebrated mistakenly thinking she had won the gold,[16] finished the race unaware that Kiesenhofer was still in front of them.[15] Kiesenhofer later said she "couldn't believe" she won adding that she would have been happy with a top 25 finish.[17]

After racing as a privateer in 2022, Kiesenhofer joined the Israel Premier Tech Roland team for the 2023 season.[1]

Major results[edit]

1st Overall Semaine Cantalienne
1st Stages 2 & 6
2nd Overall Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche
1st Stage 3
2nd Time trial, National Road Championships
Copa de España
2nd Gran Premio Comunidad de Cantabria
2nd Trofeo Zamora
4th Trofeo Gobierno de La Rioja
5th Zizurkil-Villabona
7th Trofeo Ria de Marin
10th Trofeo Bicicletas Jonny
5th Thun-West Time trial
National Road Championships
1st Time trial
1st Road race
4th Thun-West Time trial
5th Ljubljana–Domžale–Ljubljana TT
5th Time trial, European Road Championships
8th Chrono des Nations
1st Time trial, National Road Championships
1st Hochkar Bergeinzelzeitfahren Time trial
3rd Overall Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche
1st Road race, Olympic Games
1st Time trial, National Road Championships
2nd Chrono des Nations
7th Time trial, UEC European Road Championships


Kiesenhofer was awarded the Niki prize as Sportlerin des Jahres 2021 (Sportswoman of the Year) by Sports Media Austria, an association of sports journalists.[18] That year she was also named Lower Austria's sportswoman of the year and won the international success category at Die Presse's Austrian of the Year awards.[19]


  1. ^ a b Farr, Stephen (2023-01-31). "Olympic champion Anna Kiesenhofer joins Israel-Premier Tech-Roland". Retrieved 2023-04-07.
  2. ^ a b c McCurry, Justin (25 July 2021). "Anna Kiesenhofer claims shock road race glory as Van Vleuten mistakes silver for gold". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  3. ^ Wire, Coy; Haq, Sana Noor (July 26, 2021). "Anna Kiesenhofer is a math genius who just pulled off one of the biggest shocks in Olympics history". CNN. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  4. ^ Taylor, Mark (2021-07-25). "Tokyo Olympics: How Austria's Anna Kiesenhofer went from Cambridge University Cycling Club to women's road race gold". Cambridge Independent. Retrieved 2022-07-16.
  5. ^ "Anna Kiesenhofer – The Mathematics Genealogy Project". Retrieved 2021-07-25.
  6. ^ "Anna Kiesenhofer — People – EPFL". Retrieved 2021-07-25.
  7. ^ "P D E". (in French). Retrieved 2021-07-25.
  8. ^ "Anna Kiesenhofer. " Les courses que je trouve les plus attractives sont des épreuves difficiles comme l'Emakumeen Euskal Bira, le Tour d'Italie et le Tour de l'Ardèche."". velo101. 9 September 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  9. ^ "COPA DE ESPAÑA DE CICLISMO FEMENINO 2016" (PDF). RFEC (in Spanish). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  10. ^ "3ème étape 2016". Site officiel. Archived from the original on 12 September 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  11. ^ "4ème étape 2016". Site officiel. Archived from the original on 12 September 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  12. ^ "7ème étape 2016". Site officiel. Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 17 September 2016.
  13. ^ a b c d Benson, Daniel (25 July 2021). "Olympics: Shock gold for Anna Kiesenhofer in women's road race". Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  14. ^ Boren, Cindy (25 July 2021). "A Dutch cyclist thought she had won Olympic gold, but an Austrian was way ahead of her". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 25 July 2021. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  15. ^ a b Parker, Ian (25 July 2021). "Anna Kiesenhofer storms to gold as runner-up crosses line thinking she had won". Yahoo! Sports. PA Media. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  16. ^ Jones, Amy (25 July 2021). "Olympics: Van Vleuten celebrates but mistakes silver for gold". CyclingNews. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  17. ^ Gay, Jason (25 July 2021). "The Math Ph.D. Who Just Shocked Olympic Cycling". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 25 July 2021. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  18. ^ "Sportlerwahl : Kiesenhofer und Kriechmayr holen Niki". 2021-10-14.
  19. ^ Price, Matilda (28 October 2021). "Anna Kiesenhofer named Austrian sportswoman of year". Retrieved 7 November 2021.
Preceded by Austrian Sportswoman of the year
Succeeded by