Sarah Gigante has big aspirations
Today we welcome our exclusive Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (CEGORR) columnist Sarah Gigante. Her career skyrocketed after being crowned the Australian women’s road race champion last year at just 18 years of age. She also won the National Time Trial Championships in Ballarat last week. Over the next three editions, Gigante will provide insights into her maiden year as a professional cyclist and the CEGORR weekend, which includes the inaugural Race Torquay on January 30.
It’s great to be the Surf Coast Times columnist leading up to the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race weekend, which will kick off on January 30 with the inaugural Towards Zero Race Torquay.
My name is Sarah Gigante. I’m 19 and coming off the biggest year of my career, after winning the Australian women’s national road title in January 2019.
My love for cycling started on the Great Victorian Bike Ride – a 500km recreational ride. I did it with my mum on a tag-along bike when I was five and six years old, and then on a tandem bike when I was eight years old. After I finished the tandem ride, I told Mum I wanted to do the next Great Victorian Bike Ride on my own – of course, she thought it was quite a long way for an eight-year-old! So we googled “cycling clubs for kids” and found Brunswick Cycling Club and its amazing junior clinic. I started down there on the outdoor track, quickly moved on to racing at the indoor velodrome as well and then began road racing the following year.
Throughout my junior career, I balanced track and road equally, loving the challenge and variety of doing both. Last year was my first year of specialising and only racing on the road. Although I still want to do track in the future, for now I like the freedom the road gives me, travelling to new places, teamwork and the social aspect of pedalling with friends.
Like any other kid, when I was younger, adults would always ask me “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Until I was about nine, I would always say a plastic surgeon. I was sure of it! This was because when I was small, I crashed into the kitchen table and needed some stitches on my face, and the plastic surgeon was so nice to me. But soon after starting cycling, I changed my answer to a professional cyclist, and it’s stayed that way ever since. It’s so crazy to think that I’m finally one this year.
I’ve signed a one-year contract with Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank. I’m so excited to see what it’s like. I have wanted to be a professional cyclist for half my life, so it’s incredibly exciting that I’m getting this opportunity. I can’t wait to start the Australian summer of cycling with the Bay Crits, National Championships, Tour Down Under and of course the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
I hope to see you at Race Torquay on January 30 and over the Cadel weekend on February 1-2 cheering us on!
For more information on CEGORR events, head to cadelroadrace.com.