October 10, 2016 9:37:42 CDT
This rumour was confirmed Sunday: Marlies Mejias became the first Cuban cyclist hired by a foreign club under the Federation of the sport in our country. She will race in the continental team Weber Shimano Ladies Power during the 2017 season.
In her own Facebook profile, Marlies, who is in Mexico, where she took part in the Pan American Track Cycling Championships, she posted a note in which she revealed the news of her signing.
And almost simultaneously, the club´s Twitter account began posting several tweets expressing satisfaction at the incorporation of the Cuban athlete, who on Sunday was crowned Pan American champion in the complex form of the omnium.
Among the Posts by @EILadiesPower they appear: "After many months of work we now have the reinforcement we wanted for 2017 and a new flag for the team" and attached a photo of the Antillean cyclist.
With the label #BienvenidaMarlies they greeted the contract and congratulated the Cuban for her gold medal in the omnium. "Welcome to Weber Shimano Ladies Power Marlies, an increasingly Latin American team," said another tweet.
"To keep adding and being protagonists we are joined by the talented Cuban Marlies Mejias, brand new Pan American champion (in omnium)," commented another message.
The club, based in Argentina, professes to be "the first women´s cycling team with Latin American continental projection made up by the best cyclists in the region."
Meanwhile, Cuban racer confessed to this writer that it was a very special Sunday, for the gold won, the only one of her team in the contest, and the public confirmation of her contract, which will be for a year, she added.
In an exclusive dialogue through the social networks, she explained that she had signed the contract in Havana before leaving for Mexico, but had to wait to reveal the news because the legal procedures were being completed, this was done by both parties.
She also said that she would join the club in January, which confirmed that she maintains the idea of participating in December in the second edition of Titan Tropic Mountain Bike, organized in the mountains of western Cuba.
Marlies is a talented rider who has had results in both track and road. In the last Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro she occupied eighth place in the omnium, and in the Pan American Games in Toronto, last year, was runner-up on the road. At the Pan American Track Championships concluded Sunday at the Bicentennial Velodrome, in Aguascalientes, Mexico, she added to the said title, a silver medal in the individual pursuit and a bronze in the first edition of the women´s madison specialty, along with Iraida Garcia.
Although lacking in training, Marlies concluded the chase with her best historical time in this test (3.29: 929), but Catlin American Kelly stopped the clock in 2: 54,017, a spectacular time trial, according to Cuban cyclist herself.
In continental championship the talented Arlenis Sierra won the silver medal in the points race and bronze in the scratch. She also hopes to be picked for a foreign team for next season; this writer learned that some options are being considered, but there is nothing concrete yet.
After coming a very praiseworthy 28th in the Olympic road race in Rio de Janeiro-the best performance by a Cuban in that mode under the five rings- it will be very rewarding for Arlenis to race with a professional squad, and would allow her to grow as an athlete.
In 2016, the Cuban road racer Jose Mojica was the first to be hired with a foreign squad, Team Start-Vaxes-Partizan, and the experience has allowed him to develop as a rider, according to his own statements.
Translated by ESTI