WOMEN’S pro cyclist Alexi Costa concludes a hectic but successful 2021 season at the Into the Lion’s Den event in Sacramento, California on October 30.

Costa will be joined by three of her CWA Racing teammates at the inaugural event. The quartet goes up against some of North America’s top pro cycling teams in a 70-minute long ride along a one-kilometre circuit.

Initially, the season was supposed to end after last weekend’s Southeast Gravel series. But the recent announcement of the first-ever Into the Lion’s Den – which carries a hefty pot of US$100,000 for both the men and women’s races – Costa and her teammates decide to push on for one more month.

Normally, after September, the TT road cyclist would have taken some time off to relax and then start preparing for the 2022 season. Oddly enough, Costa said she was still feeling pretty good on the bike and had the extra motivation to keep going.

Costa also concluded the Southeast Gravel series with a silver medal showing in the final race in Greenwood, South Carolina. The endurance rider is enjoying her debut season with CWA Racing and has tallied over 70 races with the American team and national squad for 2021.

“The team has had some great successes especially later in the season. We have meshed very well together and everyone is always willing to work to help the team have the best results, even if it means completely sacrificing their own results for another teammate to be able to win.

“It has been a really good year and I have learned a lot of different team dynamics and race tactics,” she said.

During races, Costa serves as the domestique. In road racing, a domestique is a rider who works for the benefit of their team and leader, rather than trying to win the race. Where the domestique finishes a race is less important than the help he/she gives.

Costa relishes her role within the team and must do her best to protect their sprinter from falling overworking during the race.

“Most of the time that is my role (domestique) in the team, always to keep our sprinter safe and make sure that she does have to do any unnecessary efforts within the race so that she has the freshest legs for the end and we have great success with getting her a bunch of wins for us.

“Our job for our sprinter would be to either attack a lot and make the other teams work to chase or to either cover moves for potential attacks that can be dangerous to the team not winning,” she added.

Costa captured bronze in the women’s scratch race at the Pan American Track Cycling Championships in Lima, Peru in June. She also bagged double-gold at the 2018 Elite Caribbean Road Cycling Championships in the Dominican Republic.

Since she turned pro in 2019, Costa was only able to join up with CWA Racing in March this year owing to the pandemic.

However, she has been racking up some good performances on the American circuit. Since April, she grabbed at least four bronze medals and one silver but has also aided her team to other top-flight performances as a domestique.

Looking ahead, Costa has set her sights on 2022 to amplify her competition on the global stage.

“Next year I have some big goals on the track riding for the TT team so my racing may look a little different for next year.

“I’m aiming to do two of the three UCI Nations Cups, a block of UCI training here in the US before heading to the Commonwealth Games in the UK.

“My goal would be to earn enough points so that I can qualify for the Track World Championships at the end of the year,” she closed.

Source: https://newsday.co.tt