One of New Zealand’s longest serving professional cyclists, Joanne Kiesanowski, is moving back into the pro cycling world as Assistant Director of Rally Cycling alongside Zach Bell. Kiesanowski, whose career spanned upwards of 16 years, included three Olympic campaigns and a long stint with Team TIBCO-SVB, the new team of Sharlotte Lucas in 2019.
Since Kiesanowski’s retirement back in 2016, the New Zealander has kept busy in a coaching capacity, but she has made the decision that it is now time for her re-entry into top flight cycling; and Rally Cycling appears to be the perfect match for one of New Zealand’s longest serving road and track athletes.
“Rally Cycling is a team I’ve always been impressed with,” Jo said in a team announcement. “They’ve been running a successful dual-program for seven seasons now and they’ve developed a lot of great talent. That’s always a sign of not just focussing on team results but helping athletes grow and develop into their true potential. I’m looking forward to keeping this trend alive.”
Over Kiesanowski’s career the Kiwi took over 140 top ten finishes in UCI races and will look to take the talent and dedication that took her to such success into her director role. “I was known for being race savvy and interpreting races well during my career,” Kiesanowski said. “I feel that’s such an important part of racing, especially these days when a lot of people are only interested in power numbers. They don’t account for much if you can’t figure out how to read the race and position yourself. I know how important race knowledge is and will use professional racing knowledge to help guide and prepare the athletes as best I can.”
Zach Bell is excited to be working alongside Kiesanowski and knows that she combines the right balance of seriousness about performance with a great attitude to get there. “I knew Joanne from my own racing career and she’s just what we need. Serious about performance but low key and good with helping athletes manage the high energy of competition.”
Bell credited Kiesanowski’s vast international experience as being key to Rally Cycling’s evolution into a global cycling programme. Her role with the team will kick into gear at the start of January where she will join the team for a mini-camp in Southern California before the team head for Australia and the beginning of the racing season.