Cyclist could be Gigante on the world stage
AUSTRALIAN Time Trial champion Sarah Gigante once again proved she's a future world title contender after she beat her rivals by nearly eight minutes in the 75km women's Road Race on day four of the National Road Series in the Tweed Valley yesterday.
The TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank rider wrote her name into the record books with a sensational effort to take the win atop the summit of Tomewin climb by 7 minutes and 51 seconds ahead of Justine Barrow, who was riding for Gigante's former team, Roxsolt. Attaquer.
Gigante, 20, possesses grit which saw her master the extremely convoluted loop around Bilambil and her effort saw her lead by over four minutes by the end of the final lap before they ground their way up the summit finish of Tomewin.
Her dedication to lockdown training in her home after the pandemic scuppered her plans of competing in Europe in her first full season in the WorldTour with TIBCO-SVB.
Early attempts by other teams to pre-empt Gigante's final climb came to naught as she bridged over to an escaped group of riders, then surged again to leave them in her wake.
After another 55 kilometres, Gigante emerged the winner in a race she admitted was no easy victory.
"It was so hard," Gigante said.
"I didn't think it was going to be that hot, I knew it was going to be hot, I'd seen the forecast, but being out there time-trialling all day it was pretty crazy."
However scotching the mercury, Gigante managed to keep her cool.
"I knew I had a big gap by the end, but I kept pushing, seeing what I could get my Garmin to say at the end," she said.
"I thought last year at the Tour of Tassie, I thought that was my last NRS.
"But I'm back here and it's fun to be winning."
Meanwhile, despite coming second Barrow had an excellent showing, exploding clear a third of the way up the final climb from the chasing group to take second place a hefty 44 seconds ahead of Holly Harris (Specialized Women's Racing).
Gigante's win on Tuesday comes after she took out the opening Time Trial after 266 days of no outdoor racing and second place in the 86.6km Women's Road Race on Monday.
Former Australian racing great John Trevorrow referred to Gigante as a "superstar."