Sarah Gigante claimed her best European result to date at Dwars door Vlaanderen (1.1) today, finishing just outside the top 10 in a reduced bunch sprint.
Nicknamed “mini Flanders,” the 122km race featured ten challenging climbs and three cobbled sections. The weather was uncharacteristically pleasant for a Belgium classic; however, racing was still intense. The peloton quickly split on the climbs and cobbles, and Gigante found herself in the front group with about 40km left. The winning attack came from European champion Annemiek van Vleuten soon after.
“I enjoyed being in the front group of an attritional race and following lots of attacks,” Gigante said. “I was alone after Annemiek van Vleuten attacked, so I had to rely on the bigger teams like Trek to chase down the two leaders. Unfortunately, they didn’t quite have it in them to bring it back, and then I went the wrong way with about 1km to go and had to do a quick u-turn. I was still stoked with how I rode, though. It was also a great feeling to see my teammates in the peloton together and to practice moving as one.”
“Sarah rode a great race,” team director Rachel Hedderman said. “She kept herself in a good position, followed wheels, and covered a lot of attacks. Nothing was able to get away after van Vleuten and Kasia Niewiadoma attacked.”
Dwars door Vlaanderen was the final tune-up before perhaps the most prestigious classic of them all, the Tour of Flanders, which kicks off on Easter Sunday (April 4). The Tour of Flanders is part of the Women’s WorldTour, and will be available to watch live on FloBikes starting at 7:35 a.m. PDT for the US, Canada, and Australia. European and Asian fans can watch via GCN+/Eurosport starting at 4:35 p.m. CET.