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Sarah Gigante takes a solo victory at Emakumeen Nafarroako

The Australian takes her first win in Movistar colors while American rider Veronica Ewers continues good run of form to take second.

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In the hills of northern Spain, Sarah Gigante (Movistar) claimed her first European victory at Emakumeen Nafarroako following an impressive solo attack.

Movistar made it two on the podium with her teammate Paula Patiño taking third place, while the in-form Veronica Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) finished second.

“It’s absolutely amazing. I’m in shock, it’s crazy. I’ve never been in the top-10 of a European race, so making my first top-10 a victory is amazing,” she said after the race, according to her team.

“The whole team was so, so awesome…This is beyond my dreams; I could never wake up thinking I could win this, and I’m going to really enjoy it.”

Also read: The future is giant for Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank’s Sarah Gigante

Gigante initially found herself in a select group that had formed from the remnants of the peloton, alongside Ewers, Mavi Garcia (UAE Team ADQ), and Kristen Faulkner (Team BikeExchange-Jayco).

This powerful quartet bridged across to the day’s breakaway where Urška Žigart (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Sara Martin (Movistar) had each attacked in an attempt to launch their own solo escapades.

Žigart was able to establish an advantage over her breakaway companions, and only Nadine Gill (Sopela Women’s Team) remained with the Slovenian.

It was in this configuration that Gigante, Ewers, Garcia, and Faulkner discovered the breakaway when they made contact with the front of the race.

From this position, Gigante made her race-winning move, and once she had established an advantage, it only widened. With 21km still to race, she led the chase group by just over a minute, holding them off over the day’s last two climbs – the 5.7km Beruete and 6.8km Zuarrarrate. Then, on the descent to the finish, her advantage increased to an emphatic 2:31.

Long earmarked for stardom, the 21-year-old Australian soloed to her first win in Europe, hiding her face in her hands as she crossed the finish line, following a difficult 2021 wrecked by injury and illness.

Emakumeen Nafarroako results

  1. Sarah Gigante (Movistar) 40:05:26
  2. Veronica Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) at 2:31
  3. Paula Patiño (Movistar) at s.t.
  4. Kristen Faulkner (BikeExchange-Jayco) at 2:32
  5. Mavi Garcia (UAE Team ADQ) at 3:52
  6. Ana Santesteban (BikeExchange-Jayco) at 4:08
  7. Krista Doebel-Hickok (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) at 4:11
  8. Urška Žigart (BikeExchange-Jayco) at 4:23
  9. Ruby Roseman-Gannon (BikeExchange-Jayco) at 4:29
  10. Kathrin Hammes (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) at s.t.