TT cyclist, Alexi Costa opened her 2020 competitive campaign with an impressive third place finish at the Feria de Manizales Cycling Circuit, in Colombia, on Monday.

The seasoned road cyclist is currently in South America preparing for her competitive debut with American-based CWA Professional Women’s Racing Team, in March. Costa has been training there for the past four weeks and showed grit in her first competitive showing by securing a coveted podium place.

Following her deeply inspiring performance, Costa expressed elation and was pleased to reap the rewards of her hard work and dedication.

“I’m super happy because my goal was to get on the podium,” she told Newsday from her Colombian base, on Monday. “Especially because the town we are in is 2100m of altitude, which is even higher than where I’ve been training for the last month, so I knew it was going be a bit harder. A win would have been amazing but I’m content with my third”

The Heatwave cyclist has been using the off-season to get in some additional time on the road as she gears up to join her new team-mates in March. Costa presently trains alongside her Colombian boyfriend Dennis Ramirez, who has been living and racing in the US for the past six years.

She credited the scenic but challenging routes which force her to push herself even further, especially at altitude.

“The training has been really beneficial because I'm training in altitude every day,” Costa added. “It's a really nice change to train in Colombia because the views are just amazing and there’s a lot of climbing which is great for me. I think climbing is one of my weak spots so it augers well for my development as an athlete. Dennis and I get to push each other while out training.”

Costa conquered the gruelling seven lap, 35km circuit race trailing eventual winner Diana Carolina and silver medallist, Daniela Arboleda, both of the host nation.

The TT representative is expected to return home from her training camp on January 13. Upon her arrival, Costa will compete on the local road circuit for the next eight weeks before she heads off to begin her professional cycling career on the US circuit.