Lizzy Banks in 'disbelief' after taking first professional victory at Giro Rosa 2019

The Brit only started cycling in 2015 and has now taken one of the biggest wins in the Women's WorldTour calendar

Lizzy Banks celebrating after winning stage eight of the Giro Rosa 2019 (Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Lizzy Banks (Bigla) rode to her first professional win on stage eight of the Giro Rosa 2019, attacking from a breakaway group with 10km to go and going solo, taking out a gap of 30 seconds by the time she crossed the finish line.

What is even more remarkable is the fact Banks only started riding in 2015. Speaking to Cycling Weekly after her win, the 28-year-old said how she had been "dying" at the start of the day but managed to turn it around to get in the breakaway and then go on to take the stage win.

>>> Lizzy Banks takes first professional victory after late solo attack on stage eight of the Giro Rosa 2019

"What a day, I can't believe it, I was really suffering in the beginning. I was saying to the girls at the start of the day 'I have really s**t legs today', I was really dying," Banks said.

"I killed myself to get over the first climb and we really wanted to get in the break today. We were a little bit down, losing some seconds on GC, but we knew we still had the strength and we really wanted to take the opportunity."

The breakaway went away after 90km had been ridden, with a group of ten going up the road, with Banks' American team-mate Leah Thomas going ahead in the group before the Brit bridged across.

"So Leah [Thomas] went up the road, some people followed and I bridged across and we were the only team with two. So we knew we had to keep it rolling until we got a gap, the peloton let us get a gap, and then about 15km to go we knew we had to go. Leah attacked, I was fully on the limit but we knew that was the moment we had to go," Banks said.

It was a one-two for Bigla, as Thomas led the breakaway group across the line 30 seconds later.

"I just found out Leah came second as well so it's the best feeling in the world," Banks continued.

"I'm just so thrilled this is my first professional win and to do it at the Giro in the WorldTour, I'm pretty emotional."

Two stages remain in the Giro Rosa 2019, with Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) leading the general classification with an advantage of more than four minutes over Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans).

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.