23 Jan 2021

Gigante claims queen of the mountain on the women's first time up Willunga Hill

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It was an iconic moment in cycling as the women took on the Queen stage of Willunga Hill for the first time in the race's history, and favourite Sarah Gigante came through with the goods.

The Team Garmin Australia climber was tipped to win after cleaning up at BikeExchange Stage 2 the day before, but the question lingering was - did Stage 2 take anything out of her legs?

The resounding response: No, no it did not.

The women's peloton left d'Arenberg Cube on a 48.8km ride towards Willunga, and stayed together as it approached the first sprint at Snapper Point.

Claiming the Ziptrak Sprint was ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast Team's Ruby Roseman-Gannon.

Several attempts to impact the rhythm of the peloton were made, particularly by the aggressive Velofit team, but the biggest impact was made by lone rider Alana Forster, who managed to garner a 25 second gap solo breakaway up until the base of Willunga Hill.

Forster was swallowed up by the peloton, which promptly unleashed its climbers on the 3km quest to claim queen of the mountain.

It was clear early that Gigante had the win in the bag, as she accelerated up the hill immediately - sitting comfortable on the big chain ring as she powered up the hill, creating a growing gap between herself and second position, held by Nicole Frain of Sydney Uni Staminade.

Frain was overtaken halfway up the hill as Team BikeExchange's Lucy Kennedy fought for second place, which will bring her into second overall.

An unfortunate wrong turn for third place Nicole Frain just before the finish line cost precious seconds off her overall time and may also cost her a position on the podium.

Gigante claimed victory for the stage and shortly after crossed the finish line first - another clean sweep as jersey holder for Ziptrak sprint, Shimano QOM, Focus Young Rider and of course, Santos leader's jersey.

Gigante is pretty keen to see how she faired against the King of Willunga Hill, Richie Porte -


"I'll have to check my time against Richie's once I upload to Strava."

 

The Santos Tour Down Under is part of the UCI World Tour and UCI Women's ProSeries 

UCI World TourUCI Women's Pro Series

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