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Gigante produces giant upset cycling win

Teenaged Victorian Sarah Gigante is the new star of Australian cycling after her national road championships triumph.

Gigante produces giant upset cycling win

Teenaged Victorian Sarah Gigante is the new star of Australian cycling after her national road championships triumph.

A classy mix of raw talent and racing smarts beyond her years has landed teenaged cyclist Sarah Gigante a stunning Australian title.

Gigante shocked a strong field to take out the elite women's road race on Sunday at Buninyong, near Ballarat.


The 18-year-old finished 50 seconds ahead of world championships silver medallist Amanda Spratt in the 104km race.

It confirms Gigante is the new star of Australian cycling and caps a tumultuous 12 months for the Victorian, on and off the bike.

Along with multiple junior national titles and a world junior track championship silver medal, Gigante suffered two broken arms last year in a race crash.

Gigante also achieved a perfect ATAR score of 99.95 to earn a prestigious chancellor's scholarship at Melbourne University, opting to study science.

It is a far cry from midway through last year, when Gigante's broken arms meant mother Kerry had to transcribe her year-12 homework.

Gigante had a tearful family hug at the finish with brother Scott and their mum.

"To win elites, I can't believe it," an emotional Gigante said after her solo finish.

"This is more than a dream - I wouldn't even dream this big."

While it was one of the most-impressive wins on the hilly Mt Buninyong nationals circuit, it was also an opportunity lost for Spratt's powerful Mitchelton-Scott team.

They appeared to have everything in place with 30km left, but they had to settle for silver to Spratt and bronze to Sarah Roy.

It is the second-straight year Mitchelton-Scott have been usurped in the women's road race.

"Of course we came here to win, but we also have to acknowledge that she had an absolutely incredible ride," Spratt said of Gigante.

Gigante was in a breakaway group of seven who went clear on the first of nine laps.

It came down to Gigante, Roy and Olympian Shara Gillow with two laps left.

Gigante slipped clear on a corner and the move caught out her rivals.

Gillow wanted Roy to help chase down Gigante, but Roy knew teammates were coming and so would not contribute.

Spratt bridged across, but was unable to catch Gigante.

Gillow looked to have the bronze medal sewn up, but Roy fought back and caught her on the line.

"There's only so much I can give and I dug as deep as I could," Roy said.

"She played the game really well out there today ... Sarah capitalised on our mistake."

Gigante's next big race will be the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road race, where she will ride for the national team.

She is yet to sign a pro contract, but teams like Mitchelton-Scott are hovering.

"I have no idea what will happen ... I will stay grounded for now. I'm only 18 - I will keep having fun," Gigante said.

AAP


AAP




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