Young cycling stars often face unparalleled pressure as they emerge at the top of the sport, but it doesn’t seemed to have fazed 19-year-old Sarah Gigante.
The Australian made a blistering debut at elite level last season when she won the national road race title against a star-studded cast of rivals, aged just 18.
While you might expect Gigante to take a few seasons to find her feet after such a stunning victory, she instead proved her nerve by following up with victory in the 2020 Australian National Championships on Wednesday (January 8).
Gigante, who rides for Tibco-SVB, beat the likes of Women's WorldTour stars Grace Brown, Amanda Spratt and Lucy Kennedy to claim the national jersey.
Brown, who took the silver medal, was the reigning champion, which makes Gigante’s ride even more impressive.
She said: “I am absolutely stoked. The time trial is always the race of truths, I just came hoping to come out here and give it my best shot.
“I just can’t believe I won the elite women’s time trial, I don’t think I’ve ever beaten any of the elite ladies that came in the top five in the time trial before and probably only beaten them once in a race before.”
Gigante’s success may not be a surprise to anyone who has been following her results – in 2018 she won the TT and road race double at the junior National Championships – but her performance this week puts her near the top of the list of promising riders for 2020.
The Australian national championships will continue on Saturday with the under-23 road race, before the elite women’s and men’s titles are decided on Sunday.
Gigante will have a chance to compete against some of the best in the world at the women’s Tour Down Under.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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