Sarah Gigante and Michael Freiberg take Australian road titles by surprise
Jan 07 2019 06:58 am CET

Sarah Gigante and Michael Freiberg take Australian road titles by surprise
Sarah Gigante and Michael Freiberg take Australian road titles by surprise
Photo by ASO/A.Broadway

Sarah Gigante and Michael Freiberg have become the surprising new champions of the road in Australia. Both riders beat competitors of strong teams like Mitchelton-Scott to take the title.

The day of the Elite road race competitions in the Australian championships started with the victory of Gigante. The 18-year-old was part of a breakaway group that was created during the first nine laps and included Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott) and Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini) and she made her decisive move in the penultimate lap.

Roy stayed behind to help teammate Amanda Spratt bridge to the front, but the two were unable to stop the young rider, who crossed the finish line 50 seconds ahead of them. Spratt took the silver medal and Roy stepped on the third spot of the final podium.

The year 2018 was difficult for the multiple junior champion and World junior track silver medallist, as she broke her both arms in a race crash, but she started 2019 with a bang, she also won the U23 race. "I didn’t expect to win the under 23s, I was hoping for a medal, maybe a win if I was really lucky," she said at the end of the race.

"So to win under 23s, it would’ve been really amazing, so to win elite, I just can’t believe it.

The rider couldn't believe what happened during the race. "In the break, I had some of my idols like Amanda Spratt, Chloe Hosking and Sarah Roy there and to just be doing turns with them and riding near them was so cool," Gigante explained. "Then when I heard that three Mitchelton-Scott girls were chasing us with a lap to go, I thought 'oh, my idols are chasing me'. It was so cool.

"When I came down after the last corner, I just thought ‘don’t give up, just keep going."

At the men's race, Freiberg took the victory by beating Chris Harper and Mitchelton-Scott's Cameron Meyer. The rider was part of the breakaway and only him, Harper and Meyer survived it until the last lap.

Harper and Meyer made a move and left Freiberg behind, but as soon as he expected the title to be out of his reach, he got an unexpected surge of power that allowed him to catch the two men and cross the finish line in the first position.

"It’s been surreal," he commented. "Down the home straight coming up on the boys, I didn’t really expect it and then I hit them with a bit of speed and I got a gap and I was like ‘Oh I’m going to have to go really deep here...I know how quick Cam is’ and I got a gap and I held it.

"The jersey’s so big, you get to wear it for twelve months. On the last lap, I was just hoping for a podium. That would have been fantastic for myself, to keep me going in my career, but catching them on that last straight was something really special. It’s the ones you have to fight the hardest for that mean the most and I think it’s been about eight or 10 years since I have been up on the podium at the world level, so this is really special for me."



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