Sarah Gigante parts ways with Movistar ahead of 2024 season

Sarah Gigante

Sarah Gigante, the young Australian climber, has mutually agreed to terminate her contract with Movistar, ending her stint with the Spanish squad a year earlier than planned. This development was confirmed by the team in a statement on Wednesday ahead of their team presentation on Thursday. The move became clear when the UCI listing of the Movistar team for the 2024 season was missing the Australian rider.

Gigante, a former Australian national champion in both the road race and time trial, joined Movistar in 2022 on a three-year deal. She was considered one of the most promising up-and-coming climbers in recent years and potentially part of the Annemiek van Vleuten succession plan. However, her initial seasons in the WorldTour have been marred by injury, illness, and limited racing opportunities. A large part of her 2023 season was spent watching from the sidelines with an injury, with Gigante a notable roadside spectator during the Australian Nationals in January 2023.

“Movistar Team announced the end of its contractual relationship with Sarah Gigante, effective December 31st, 2023,” the team’s statement read. “The mutual agreement, reached during the month of October, aims for the best interest of both parties and further opportunities in 2024. Abarca Sports extends its best wishes to ‘Gigi’ for her future and thanks her for all her efforts over the last two years.”

Gigante’s first season with Movistar began with promise, marked by a victory at the Emakumeen Nafarroako Classic in Spain. However, during that victory, there was a crash with a car which was part of the race. That saw her diagnosed with a concussion shortly afterwards which wasn’t recognised by the team immediately. Gigante began Itzulia Women a few days later but had to withdraw before the end after the concussion symptoms became too much. That meant 3 months out recovering from the concussion before returning to racing near the end of the season.

The signs are encouraging for 2024 though. Most recently, Gigante competed in the Australian national event, the Tour of Bright, at the beginning of December, securing an overall win after triumphing in two of the three stages. Against a national field, it’s clear that Gigante still belongs at a higher level.

Speculation links Sarah Gigante with the AG Insurance-Soudal team but her 2024 team is still to be announced.

21/12/2023 Update: AG Insurance-Soudal has now announced the signing of Sarah Gigante for at least the 2024 season.