Crowning the first queen of Willunga Hill at the Santos Festival of Cycling

Santos Festival of Cycling
Sarah Gigante a fitting first victor on the iconic South Australian climb (Image credit: Getty Images)

The race for the overall may have been all but over after Sarah Gigante’s (Team Garmin Australia) dominant performance on the second stage of the Santos Festival of Cycling but for many riders there was still a prize they wanted just as much and that was to be crowned the first-ever queen of Willunga Hill. 

The climb isn’t overly steep or, at three kilometres, even that long but nevertheless, it has always been the stage to look forward to in the men’s race at the Santos Tour Down Under. The prestige of winning on the climb is high and the exciting racing is lifted by the atmosphere of the boisterous crowd lining the ascent. It is an entrenched tradition, an icon of the race.

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Simone Giuliani
Australia Editor

Simone is a degree-qualified journalist that has accumulated decades of wide-ranging experience while working across a variety of leading media organisations. She joined Cyclingnews as a Production Editor at the start of the 2021 season and has now moved into the role of Australia Editor. Previously she worked as a freelance writer, Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg. Cycling was initially purely a leisure pursuit for Simone, who started out as a business journalist, but in 2015 her career focus also shifted to the sport.