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.