Grande Gaia! Young Italian finishes third overall at La Vuelta Femenina

"Being on the podium is amazing."

Gaia Realini climbed her way onto the podium at La Vuelta Feminina with another display of pure climbing talent to secure second on the final stage at the top of the Lagos de Cavadonga climb and secure third place overall. The 21-year-old also won the Queen of the Mountains Classification to round out a successful final weekend of racing for Trek-Segafredo in Spain, which started with Realini’s stage win yesterday.


Realini was able to ride Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team) off her wheel in the closing kilometers of the 12.5-kilometer-long climb to the finish, which had an average gradient of 6.7%, and continued pushing on towards the line alongside Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx).

The duo opened a good gap to the red jersey and battled for the stage win with Vollering edging ahead of Realini on a short but sharp downhill and holding onto her advantage on the last ramp up to the line to take the stage win.

The young Italian was smiling from ear to ear after crossing the line, knowing that she had done enough to rectify some of the damage done in the crosswinds of stage three and finished on the podium of the General Classification.

Realini’s Reaction:

“If I look back to stage three when I had the gap and lost so much time in the wind, the hopes for a good place on the General Classification, which was the goal coming into the race, were almost gone. So, now being on the podium is amazing. 

“We knew after the disappointment of that stage that we were ready to keep fighting. As a team, we never stopped believing in our ambitions and our strength to achieve something in this Vuelta. We were convinced and motivated and I am really happy that I could repay my teammates’ efforts and I want to dedicate this result to them.”

“When I started the climb up to Lagos de Covadonga, it immediately reminded me of a climb I do at home, Passo Lanciano. It’s a climb I know very well from training and one where I do my performance tests so I took on the climb as if it was that one. I was focused only on the climb and I really enjoyed every meter of it.

“Of course, I believed I could win the stage but at the end I felt the effort of the earlier kilometers and Demi was so strong. I am pleased and happy for the final result. I think this podium is just a starting point for me. I know there is a lot to do and to improve on to keep becoming a more and more solid rider. I am happy for everything I have done here but I need to put my feet on the ground and keep the focus on improving and growing”

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