Australian Champions Michael Freiberg and Sarah Gigante chasing Oceania success in Tasmania

Australian National Road Champions Michael Freiberg and Sarah Gigante are headed to Tasmania looking to add Oceania glory at the 2019 Oceania Road Championships, March 15-17.

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While best known for his exploits on the track as a world champion in the omnium in 2011 and in road races the Australian will also line up in the time trial and has high expectations on a course that he believes suits him.

“I am really looking forward to a flat and fast time trial on Friday. This course is something that should suit me.”

The Australian Champions jersey may make Freiberg stand out among the field though he knows the competition will be strong with defending champion Chris Harper, Ben Dyball and Jason Christie among those looking for the title.

“The competition for Sunday’s road race will be tough. Ben Dyball is on great form and he showed that at the 3 Peaks challenge on Sunday. I think he will be hard to beat.

“Holding the jersey is a massive honour and I am going to race as much as possible in Australia to do it justice.”

2018 under 19 champion Sarah Gigante returns to Tasmania though this time she will carry the green and gold stripes on her back.

“I’ve been specifically targeting the Oceania Road Championships for quite a while now, so I’m super excited to get out there and race,” explained Gigante. “I’m looking for hopefully a personal best power in the time trial and then to really push myself in the road race and see our team Roxsolt Attaquer up there in the end.

For Gigante who claimed the under 19 title a year ago the step up in category to under 23 means she is unsure what to expect with the level of competition despite having beaten a strong field including world championship medallist Amanda Spratt at the Australian Championships in January.

“It’s hard to know what to expect, since I’m stepping up an age group since last year’s championships and racing a lot of people that I don’t really know. I’m certain that it will be a very tough race!”

As one of five UCI road events for women in Oceania the Oceania Championships play an important role for Gigante and provide another opportunity to test herself against an international field that includes Commonwealth Games representatives.

“The Championships are really important for me. It’s a perfect way to test myself against the other Australians again, and also see where we stack up alongside the Kiwis. International racing is still quite new for me so each opportunity is really special and a great learning experience.”

The 2019 Oceania Championships start on Friday March 15 with time trials for all categories before under 19 men’s and women’s road races on Saturday and under 19 women’s and men’s road races on Sunday.