Sarah Gigante was as surprised as anyone by her emphatic win in the Cycling Australia Road National Championships under-19 women’s criterium in Ballarat on Wednesday.
“I wasn’t expecting it. It’s special.”
The Victorian 17-year-old took the ascendancy after catching breakaway leader Emily Watts on the 14th time around the 1.1km circuit and went on to lap the main bunch.
Sophie Edwards took silver in a three-way sprint, with Watts holding on for bronze after a brave ride in a race trimmed by two laps.
Gigante, who is preparing to enter Year 12, said a two-rider breakaway led by Watts had provided the perfect scenario for her – allowing her to sit off the pace early before igniting a chase down by what was initially a four-strong group once the break hit 30 seconds.
She said a main focus was to ensure that no one sat on her back all the way in the chase and then jumped her.
Gigante was also awarded the sprint jersey.