• Sarah Gigante celebrates her first NRS stage win and announcement of her international pro racing contract (Cycling Australia)Source: Cycling Australia
Sarah Gigante celebrated the news of her first international pro contract with a stage win at the Tour of Tasmania, her maiden National Road Series (NRS) victory.
Cycling Central

6 Dec 2019 - 10:53 AM  UPDATED 6 Dec 2019 - 11:37 AM

Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank announced the signing of Australia's reigning national road champion on the eve of the women's Tour of Tasmania opening stage. 

"So stoked to announce I’ll be lining up as a pro cyclist for Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank next year," Gigante said on Instagram prior to the race start yesterday.

"It’s been a pretty incredible journey to get here - thank you to everyone who’s helped and encouraged me over the years."

Gigante's epic Roadnats victory
We're necessarily cautious about talking up young riders. But there's not enough superlatives when it comes to Sarah Gigante who triumphed over one of the best riders in the world to take the elite and under 23 women's titles at the 2019 Cycling Australia FedUni Road National Championships.

Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank said they were excited about 2020's mix of experience and 'raw talent,' which also includes returning Aussie Shannon Malseed. 

“Our philosophy has always been to do our best to hire not just great athletes," Linda Jackson, founder of Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank said. "But great people. We have a terrific group of women, and I am looking forward to seeing what we can do as a team in 2020.”

The 19-year-old put the icing on the cake in Tasmania by bridging across to team mate Justine Barrow on the Poatina climb in super blustery conditions, the Roxsolt Attaquer pair cooperating to get Gigante over the line and into the leader's jersey, building on their team mates earlier efforts to put the race in the gutter. 

"It will be my first time doing Tour Down Under so I'm excited. I've never been to watch either I've always just had FOMO sitting on the couch at home."

Although Jaime Gunning (Specialized) initially held on with Gigante following Barrow's decisive attack, she was outnumbered and the cross head-wind took its toll but she valiantly held on to third. 

"We were giving it everything," Gigante said. "And we're just super happy." 

Barrow later confirmed there was a team agreement for the youngster to cross the line first.

"Sarah is winning the Under 23 National Road Series," she said. "But it's close (between her and Gunning) so we would like her to come away with the title for the year."

Before Gigante heads off overseas, she will line up for Australia's summer of cycling. 

"I'm really lucky I get to do all the summer racing hopefully that means Nationals, Tour Down Under, Cadel's Race and the Herald Sun Tour," she said on the National Road Series live highlights. 

"It will be my first time doing Tour Down Under so I'm excited. I've never been to watch either I've always just had FOMO sitting on the couch at home."

"Nationals is a super tough race everyone wants to win. I'll try my best I've trained hard. I'll just see how it goes and I'm lucky i have a really strong team mate in Shannon Malseed and we'll be doing our best to represent Tibco Silicon Valley."

Gigante, who earned a near perfect ATAR a month before she was crowned Australian road race champion, told Cycling Central she plans to continue her university studies. 

"I will be racing hopefully in both America and Europe but based in (the US)," she said. "I will continue studying science but I'll drop down to part-time."   

Gigante thanked her mum on Instagram who naturally reacted with a mixture of emotions at the news of her signing.

"Mum is nervous but excited for me and I think she is planning to visit," she told Cycling Central

Watch Sarah Gigante in action LIVE on Sunday, 8 December from 3pm when she races the Stan Siejka Launceston Cycling Classic, streaming on our Facebook page

Countdown to the 2020 RoadNats on SBS
The 2020 Cycling Australia Road National Championships were officially launched today (Friday) marking 58 days until live cycling is back on SBS!