Human Powered Health has signed the eleven-time national champion of Cyprus, Antri Christoforou, to join the team for the latter part of the 2022 season. She is transferring from continental team Farto – BTC where she began the season with promising results, winning La Classique Morbihan in May.
The climbing specialist is excited to be a part of the team as the season draws closer to the much-anticipated Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. After years of racing with smaller continental outfits, Christoforou is eager to join a bigger team and not only ride for herself but to do her job for the squad.
Team Farto – BTC, the continental outfit from which Christoforou signs, are a Spanish programme that strives for a “holistic view of women’s cycling” and shares many passions with that of Human Powered Health. Empowered since 2019 by the BTC project, it became a UCI continental programme in 2021 and strives for sustainable and appropriate growth of women’s cycling and sports through the bike team, its youth academies, education programmes and defeating stigmas.
Starting out on the mountain bike at age 12, Christoforou became well acquainted with elevation during her teenage years. She took a break from the sport when she became pregnant with her son and came back dedicated to the road. Preferring “the long climbs and the views” over the short and tough mountain bike races, she quickly found her place in the discipline.
It’s a mission that Brais Dacal, general manager and sports director for Team Farto – BTC, reiterates to his athletes.
“Antri’s success is the best example of what our program aims for,” Dacal says. “Providing opportunities and support to committed women that want to leave their mark in cycling and society. It’s going to be difficult to replace Antri as a rider and a teammate, but we are beyond happy to see her stepping to the World Tour.”
Returning to the sport in 2016, Christoforou quickly picked up her first national titles in both the road race and the time trial. With a tight grip on the championships ever since, she has collected six total national titles in the road race and, only missing one year since 2016, five titles in the time trial.
Christoforou’s seven-year-old son ensures that she keeps a strict training schedule, ensuring she gets her rides completed each morning while he’s occupied. He also takes on other roles in his mom’s career as they stretch and do core workouts together to stay in peak condition. Christoforou says “it’s like our time.”
The beautiful roads of Cyprus provide a timeless training ground for the Cypriot champion. Beautiful weather year-round means that Christoforou does not need to travel to stay on her bike. Attempting to use an indoor trainer for about a month during Covid lockdowns, she quickly found that indoor riding was not something she needed to dabble in. When you have perfect conditions for riding, there’s no need to stay inside.
Nutrition being an ever-present reality of the cyclist’s life, Christoforou balances her diet between fresh salads and seafood and some more guilty pleasures like her favourite traditional treat – shoushoukos. When she has time, she enjoys fueling her ride with homemade energy bars crafted from her father’s own honey.
For Christoforou, one of the most exciting parts of getting to ride with Human Powered Health, is having the time and energy to dedicate to stretching, hydrating, eating healthfully, sleeping well, and indulging in a nice massage.
As she moves into the summer season with her new team, Christoforou is looking forward to competing in new and exciting races like the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift as well as old favourites like the Commonwealth Games.
“Several teams showed interest in Antri,” Dacal adds. “When the name of Human Powered Health came up, I told her to say yes. I’ve known the team for many years, see the programme grow and I’m sure it’s the ideal next step for her career in pro cycling.”
The team is excited to find a dedicated new teammate in Christoforou and welcomes her to this season-in-progress.