Sarah Gigante made an excellent start to her European spring racing campaign at Trofeo Alfredo Binda today. The 20-year-old Australian finished 23rd on a demanding and hilly circuit around Varese, Italy, which propelled her to the top of the UCI Women’s WorldTour best young rider classification.
Team captain Lauren Stephens also had a strong result, finishing a few places ahead of Gigante in 16th.
“It was so awesome to be back racing with my teammates in Europe,” Gigante said. “Kicking things off with Trofeo Alfredo Binda turned out to be a great plan because it was a super fun race, and we all came together as a unit really well.”
In its 46th year, the Trofeo Alfredo Binda is the oldest one-day race on the Women’s WorldTour. As one of the few stand-alone women’s events on the calendar (and broadcast live), there was plenty at stake, and the competition was fierce from the very start of the 141.8km race.
“Tanja Erath and Leah Dixon were crucial in helping to position us early on, and then Lauren Stephens was a great road captain for Eri Yonamine and me as we got further into the race,” Gigante said.
It wasn’t until the penultimate 17km lap when moves began to stick, and Gigante and Stephens found themselves in a chasing group behind six leaders.
“I tried to attack the last climbs in a last ditch attempt to catch the leaders, but in the end, we finished in a big group of chasers, with Lauren in a strong 16th and me a bit behind in 23rd,” Gigante said.
“It’s a special feeling to be in the lead of the Women’s WorldTour Young Rider Classification too, which came as a complete surprise after the race,” Gigante said. “Bring on the next one!”
Next up on the calendar is Oxyclean Classic Brugge De Panne on March 25.