Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s tenacious New Zealand youngster Emily Collins finished fifth in today’s third and final stage of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic in Williamstown, Australia.
Conducted in sweltering conditions, only 17 of the 52 starters managed to complete the full 45 minutes of racing, as the heat visibly took its toll on the riders.
Claiming line honours was Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS) whose win also secured her the lead on General Classification. Second place went to Peta Mullens (Anytime Fitness/Trek) followed closely by Kimberley Wells (Specialized Securitors).
With their maiden outing completed, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s team owner and manager Rochelle Gilmore reflected on the team’s debut, and what is a promising future for the young outfit:
“It was an encouraging start to the season for the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team and a good opportunity for us to get used to each other and our strengths.
“We gained a 3rd and 5th at our first event in January against Australia’s fittest, which is not bad for a European team preparing for a long season,” explained Gilmore.
“The Orica-AIS team were very strong at this event but now we have ridden together and learnt a lot, it will hold us in good stead for the first of the international race in Qatar later this month.
“I believe that the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team will be competitive against the World’s strongest once we get the entire team together for the classics and World Cup races in Europe, we’re on track,” added Gilmore.
The team now head their separate ways as Rochelle Gilmore and Lauren Kitchen travel to Ballarat to represent Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling at the Australian Open Road Cycling Championships from the 7-12th January, whilst Emily Collins returns home to compete in the New Zealand National Championships in Christchurch from the 11-13th January.