TENIEL CAMPBELL produced an inspirational start to her professional cycling career by grabbing bronze at the Vuelta CV Féminas in Valencia, Spain, on Saturday.
Campbell, racing for her new Italian club, Valcar Cylance (Travel & Service), completed the challenging 94-kilometre circuit in just under two hours and 19 minutes. She finished behind eventual winner, Marta Bastianelli (Ale BTC Ljubljana) and Barbara Guarischi (Movistar Team) respectively, both of Italy.
Campbell’s performance saw her earn a worthy 70 International Cycling Union (UCI) points on her debut as TT’s first ever professional female cyclist. Her closest teammate, Silvia Persico (Italy), crossed the finish line in 19th position.
After her mesmerising competitive display, the 22-year old expressed her delight by posting to her Facebook page, “A good start to the season with my new team; Valcar - Travel & Service. I am excited to see what we can accomplish as a unit for the 2020 season. Andiamo (Let’s go) very very super girls.”
Meanwhile, Campbell’s team also acknowledged the progress of its most recent addition by highlighting her achievement via social media.
The club’s statement read, “First race, first podium. The signature on the first great result of the Valcar - Travel & Service in this 2020 came from Teniel Campbell, the cyclist of TT who conquered the third position behind Marta Bastianelli and Barbara Guarischi at the Vuelta CV Féminas. A podium that shows all the value of an athlete who, at first stroke, sweeps away doubts and doubts and convinces to full for her technical potential.”
Video footage posted to Facebook also showed Campbell finishing inches behind the leaders courtesy a well-timed last minute sprint. The live stream footage showed Campbell hunting favourite Bastianelli, in the last kilometre. However, she was bottled into the peloton before producing a final surge.
With just over 300m to go, the PSL (domestic club) rider was forced to slow down to avoid a crash involving other cyclists. Although a minor deterrent, Campbell’s sprint was not compromised, as her legs exploded, reassembling on the final straight and pumping to an impressive third place position.
According to the club statement, Campbell’s performance was expected as previously stated by coach Davide Arzeni.
“Closing with a splendid third place and confirming all the good expectations that the Davide Arzeni had underlined on the eve of the race. Curiosity has immediately left space to amazement: Teniel Campbell has extraordinary potential.”
Speaking to Campbell on Wednesday, the talented cyclist indicated she was still acclimatising to her new environment but was progressing under her new coach and teammates.
She said via Whatsapp, “I am still in the adaptive phase with all. However, I’m progressively learning the Italian culture and the people.”