21 year old Italian climber Gaia Realini has signed a 3 year contract with Trek Segafredo. The talented youngster shone at the recent Giro Donne, finishing 13th overall and clinching third in the youth classification.
Realini said: “This is a dream that comes true, I am super excited. I have always looked at Trek-Segafredo as the best team in the peloton. A unique style, the image of the perfect team. I couldn’t really ask for better for my future.”
Ina Teutenberg, Team Director of Trek-Segafredo: “Realini is a young athlete who, first of all, will need time to adjust to the new reality of the WorldTour and to integrate with our structure. The qualities we saw from her on the climbs at Giro d’Italia were impressive and she deserves our trust. She has specific characteristics that we believe will be a positive addition to our roster. We see in her significant room to grow.”
On two occasions Realini has demonstrated her climbing prowess at the Giro Donne. In 2021, her first appearance , she finished 11th overall and 2nd in the youth classification, as well as taking two top ten placements (in the queen stage in Pratonevoso and the mountain TT).
A few weeks ago, in the 2022 edition, she confirmed herself as a GC prospect (13th overall and 3rd in youth classification) as well as a top climber, having placed 7th and 5th in the two mountain stages of Passo Maniva a San Lorenzo Dorsino.
“It was the first, real chance to show the world who I was, to draw attention to myself. So far I have experienced professional cycling in a small reality, very different from what I will find next year. To be honest, beyond what I could see from the outside, I don’t even really know what to expect. It will be a huge leap in quality, with so many new things to discover. Definitely the best I could aspire to grow.”
At just 150cm tall and 40kg in weight, Realini is a pure climber. “These characteristics are my key to ride strong in the mountains. My inspiration, as an athlete and as a woman, has always been Elisa Longo Borghini. I have always followed her with great admiration, both on TV and now in the peloton. She’s my point of reference. Learning from her is one of my goals.”
With the recent addition of Amanda Spratt, Trek Segafredo are building a formidable line up of climbers for the Grand Tours and hilly classics.