Gaia Realini extends contract with Lidl-Trek through 2027

Pocket Rocket Realini continues her way to the top with Lidl-Trek

Gaia Realini has made a huge impact since arriving at Lidl-Trek in 2023. The pure climber had already scored top-10 results at the Giro Donne, but was still relatively unknown to the wider audience until her breakthrough 2023 season. Realini’s adventure with Lidl-Trek started in the best possible way – crossing the line arm-in-arm with her idol Elisa Longo Borghini as the Italian pair dominated the inaugural UAE Women’s Tour with a display of climbing brilliance atop Jebel Hafeet. From there, it didn’t take long for the Abruzzo native to achieve her first professional victory after an impressive double act with teammate Amanda Spratt at Trofeo Oro in Euro.

Realini didn’t show any sign of slowing down, and her meteoric rise continued as the biggest events on the calendar arrived: 3rd atop the Mur de Huy at Flèche Wallonne followed closely by a stunning performance at the Vuelta Femenina in which she won a stage and finished on the final podium. The 21-year-old climber followed up at her home race, the Giro d’Italia Donne, with another overall podium finish.

In 2024, putting together the experience she has gained during her time at Lidl-Trek so far, Gaia Realini will make her debut at the Tour de France Femmes, alongside a return to the Vuelta and Giro. Making full use of the support offered to her by the Team, Gaia hopes to make the next few years her most successful yet.

“My first year with the team, the one that has just ended, went beyond my wildest expectations,” said a happy Realini. “It was really hard to ask for more. I made strong performances and achieved top results, but the greatest success was the confidence and awareness I gained. I joined the team on tiptoes, with the curiosity of discovering a new world, and I found myself unexpectedly under the spotlight. Thanks to the Team and my family, I learnt how to manage this and take the most out of it, race after race.

“One year after, ambitions and perspectives have changed. The bar and the expectations have been raised: this is the great challenge that the Team and I want to win. The contract renewal is, for me, putting pen on paper the attestation of how much I love to ride with this Team and how valued I felt. Now, we have new goals. First and foremost, becoming an increasingly solid climber in stage races; then, getting as close as possible to the great GC riders of the WorldTour.

“The biggest lesson I learned is to never give up, even in the most difficult situations. At Lidl-Trek I learnt the value of cycling as a team sport. I never felt alone. The results came because I always had a team at my side that was capable of enhancing my potential through trust. I’ll continue my journey with Lidl-Trek to go beyond my limits and raise the bar of the ambitions higher and higher. I’m super happy.”

“In 2022, we did know we signed huge talent, an amazing climber, but I got really impressed on how quickly she adapted on being part a big Team, a big organization and, race after race, how she managed to take the leadership when needed,” revealed Ina Teutenberg, Lidl-Trek DS. “She showed a strong character immediately at UAE Tour, then came the podium at Flèche Wallonne, then again two bold performances at Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia. At her age, she managed to have a leading role and the responsibility with innate facility. She made huge steps in an impressive easy way. She’s mentally so strong, as well as being amazing on the bike, and that was her key to become in just one year one the most promising talent in the peloton.
Together, we want to continue on this growing path to lead her, in the coming future, among the strongest riders of women’s cycling.”

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