Having won her sixth national time trial last week, Cypriot Antri Christoforou added national road title number seven with a commanding victory in Nicosia District. The 30-year-old soloed to victory on a twisting nine lap course in wet conditions to end her history-making season in style.
The Mediterranean island is home to just 1.2 million people, but it has a turbulent and storied history because of its strategic position in the sea between Europe, Asia and Africa. Christoforou says she’s proud to carry her country with her on her national champion’s jersey.
“It’s really important for me to represent Cyprus at Women’s WorldTour level,” Christoforou said after her triumph in Analiontas. “I always feel proud to have the flag on my jersey. A win is the best way to finish the season and even better if the win is at home with your family and friends there to watch you do it.”
Christoforou’s late season block was hampered by a gallbladder infection discovered during the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta, but rested up and followed the doctor’s instruction in order to be fit for the championship week.
She will have surgery during the off-season to rectify the issue with a very quick recovery time expected. Off the bike, during these difficult phases, she can always count on her small tight-knit family of her husband (and also, at nationals, her bike mechanic) Marios, and her energetic seven-year-old son.
“I had the support of my crazy son in the feed zone and it was so funny,” she explains. “I also had friends from my local club team, that I started cycling 20 years ago. They have been by my side from day one and they are so happy when I am racing in Cyprus.”
A favorite of European holidaymakers, the island has further characteristics that helped Christoforou excel through the sport.
“We have really good weather for winter preparation, good quiet roads with lots of short and long climbs, so you are always ready for the first race,” she says. “Also I have lots of support for my family, friends and the cycling community and that goes a long way.”
The only Cypriot to compete in the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, Christoforou has left an indelible mark on her sport in Cyprus. No male cyclist has ever represented Cyprus at Le Tour.
“Racing the Tour de France Femmes was my favorite moment of the year,” she says. “It was a dream for me that only came true one month before the race. It was very hard, but I really enjoyed every moment.”
The Cypriot flag will once again be resplendent in the Women’s WorldTour in 2023 with Christoforou being particularly excited to start her year with Human Powered Health, this time from the very beginning of the racing season.
“I can’t wait to start racing with the girls again and also the new riders. The first part of the season has a lot of big races and I am really excited to do them with the team.”
National Championships Cyprus Road Race results
1 CHRISTOFOROU Antri – Human Powered Health 2:50:12
2 KOUKOUMA Demetra
3 KAMILARI Styliana
4 KOUKOUMA Eleni
5 PANAGIOTOU Sotiria
National Championships Cyprus Time Trial results
1 CHRISTOFOROU Antri – Human Powered Health 0:27:15
2 KAMILARI Styliana
3 KOUKOUMA Demetra
4 KOUKOUMA Eleni
5 CHARALAMBOUS Spyridona