RECENTLY crowned Australian national road race champions Michael Freiberg and Sarah Gigante have thrown their hats into the ring to contest for line honours in the Melbourne to Warrnambool cycling classic.
The pair enter the one-day race, which is Australia's oldest and the world's second oldest one-day classic, on February 16 with green and gold jerseys after victory at the Road Nationals in Buninyong on January six.
Gigante, 18, who burst onto the Australian cycling scene with her shock victory at the national championships, enters her first Melbourne to Warrnambool.
Freiberg, 28, who rides for Australian Cycling Academy team Pro Racing Sunshine, said there were multiple reasons in his decision to return for a second go at the classic.
“It is Australia’s number one classic race and it’s a really big test race and there are no other races that are that distance and have the history behind it,” he said.
“It’s one of the longest races in cycling and it’s always a precious one to win.”
The Perth-based professional cyclist said preparation would be key to his tilt at victory over the 262-kilometre course, but he felt the confidence from his recent victory in Ballarat would spur him forward.
“It (the green and gold jersey) will give me a bit more opportunity to perform and it gives me a bit more confidence going in knowing I have the legs and I have to do the jersey proud,” he said.
“I will give it my all and try and save some legs for the final (sprint to the finish).”