The nascent Trek-Segafredo women’s team could hardly have got off to a better start in their first season, winning at their first attempt at the Women’s Tour Down Under. The rider who did it for them is rising star and second-year professional, Letizia Paternoster.
With a hugely strengthened field for the 2019 Women’s Tour Down Under, Paternoster was not the pre-stage favourite. However, the 19-year-old Italian came from a long way back to beat her more experienced rivals in the sprint. Having been delivered to the back of the Mitchelton-Scott train by new teammate Lauretta Hansen, Paternoster had to dig deep after launching her sprint a little too early.
“When I went, I thought I was closer to the finish line, and when I saw it was still 250m to go, I wanted to die a little. I am so happy to have pulled it off,” said an elated Paternoster. “This is really an amazing day for me; it’s only my second year as a professional rider. To start out with the new team, and the first race of the team like this, is really, really great.
“I want to thank Lauretta (Hanson) who brought me in a perfect way to the finish line, but also the rest of the team – we really rode together as a team today and it was just awesome to finish it off like that and take the leader’s jersey on top is a nice bonus.”
Thanks to the victory, Paternoster pulled on the first leader’s jersey and has a two-second advantage on Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott) going into stage 2.
Not yet a household name in the women’s peloton
Paternoster is not a household name in women’s cycling but she has already made her mark at a young age.
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