Peta Mullens took her first victory for Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling as the black and orange team completed a near-perfect weekend at the NSW Grand Prix in Wollongong. The 25-year-old Victorian was part a breakaway group of six which also contained teammate Charlotte Becker, escaped just before the halfway point of the race and managed to lap the field on the 660 metre long Flagstaff Hill circuit.
With the main peloton having sprinted for seventh place three laps from the end, Mullens was easily able to outpace her breakmates to take the victory. Becker, despite having come down in an early crash that ripped her dhb skinsuit and cracked her Lazer helmet – but not cracked her head! – took second place, ahead of Sophie Williamson of Wakatipu New Zealand.
“Today was another amazing day for Wiggle Honda,” said Mullens. “After a dominating performance yesterday the peloton was really waiting for us to dictate the race again. I tried to animate the race early and eventually Lotte and I found ourselves in a six-woman break. The peloton were happy with the combination and after some time we lapped them.
“When the bunch finished their sprint for seventh the dynamics of the race changed and it was a cat and mouse approach until Lotte launched it up the hill on the back straight. She was so strong that even after I came around her for the win she still finished second!
“I’m stoked to take this win today to show my appreciation to Wiggle for bringing out a strong team to support the Australian Domestic season,” Mullens concluded. “I had a ball racing with the girls, we have so much fun that we nearly need to change our name to ‘Giggle Honda’!”
The crash that brought down Becker, as well as Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammate Joanne Tralaggan, came early in the race and, despite some bumps and bruises, both were able to rejoin the bunch without too much trouble. The first big move of the race then saw Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Lauren Kitchen – dressed in the white jersey of series leader after her victory in Cronulla the previous day – follow an attack from Tiffany Cromwell (Orica-AIS).
The two riders were quickly brought back by the field, but when the six-rider group escaped just before halfway, it quickly managed to build what was to be a winning lead. With Mullens, Becker and Williamson were Sarah Roy (Roxsolt Sydney Uni), Kate Finegan (Specialized Securitor) and Emma Viotto (Suzuki Bontrager) and, having been held at around half a lap for some time, made the catch with just over five laps to go.
The field contested the sprint for seventh place with three laps to go for the leaders and, once down to just the six riders, the pace dropped as the race for victory became a tactical one. A final lap attack from Becker lifted the speed again, however, allowing Mullens to take her first victory for Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling.
Following her second place in Cronulla, another runner-up spot was more than enough to earn Becker the overall NSWGP title.
“It feels great,” Becker said. “It was a nice weekend catching up with the girls, getting to know my new team mates and getting out there and giving it our best. We worked really well together as a team and had plenty of options to play with.
“I’m really happy with the outcome – we couldn’t have done much better!” the 30-year-old German added. “Big thanks to Wiggle, all our team sponsors, staff, supporters and the NSW GP organisers for making it happen. We had a great weekend and I hope to be back in Australia for it next year to defend the title.”
1. Peta Mullens (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
2. Charlotte Becker (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
3. Sophie Williamson (Wakatipu New Zealand)
Lauren Kitchen has taken out the first round of the NSW Grand Prix with an impressive solo victory in Cronulla. The 23-year-old stormed away from her lead group to claim victory ahead of her team mates Charlotte Becker and Emily Collins, making it a clean podium sweep for the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team.
“The conditions were really tough out there today,” explained Kitchen. “Our plan was to be aggressive as we had the numbers and the strength to be able to do so. We didn’t want to sit in and wait for the race to unfold, so we took charge of the race right from the start.”
The dominant Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team animated the race from the gun with Peta Mullens and Lauren Kitchen launching repeated attacks to string out the peloton. A counterattack by Kitchen half way through the 15 lap race saw her gain a solo lead over the lead peloton which grew quickly to half a lap.
Behind her, a strong chase grouped formed containing teammates Peta Mullens and Charlotte Becker as well as Commonwealth Games Bronze Medallist Chloe Hosking, Specialized-lululemon’s Loren Rowney and New Zealander Sophie Williamson.
Recognising the threat up ahead, Tiffany Cromwell (Orica-AIS) and Sarah Roy (Roxsolt Sydney Uni) went in pursuit of the leaders with Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s newly crowned New Zealand National Criterium Champion neatly tucked away in tow.
With 4 laps remaining, Kitchen had re-joined the front group, only to launch herself off the front of the group again with just under 2 laps to make what would be the winning move of the day.
“Going up the hill on the last lap and saw the gap, I knew that if I put my head down I could back myself for the win,” said Kitchen. “I was very happy with how we rode together as a team and I’m very happy to have crossed the line first, but it could have been any one of us out there today.”
Becker jumped away early in the sprint to take out second place whilst Collins won the bunch kick for third.
Team owner and manager Rochelle Gilmore, who also featured in the race, couldn’t have been happier with the day’s result in her hometown and paid tribute to her team’s tremendous efforts to have been able to win in such a dominating fashion.
“I’m extremely proud of how the team performed today,” explained Gilmore. “I was really confident when I saw that we had three riders in the break, then four when Emily joined the front group. Knowing that I have very smart and educated bike riders in my team I felt very confident with the situation that unfolded. Even though we are a strong international team expected to win, I know that each of our riders had to work very hard to dominate in the conditions that they did out there today.”
The Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team will look to defend their lead in the NSW Grand Prix as the race moves to its final stage in Wollongong tomorrow. For more information on the race visit http://www.
Lauren Kitchen (Wiggle Honda)
Charlotte Becker (Wiggle Honda)
Emily Collins (Wiggle Honda)
We caught up with Wiggle Honda’s latest team member Joanne Tralaggan; an enthusiastic Aussie who has seen her life transformed as she has been enveloped in the world of female pro bike racing. “Living proof things do and can happen to ordinary people” she talks us through her journey so far…
It is an unbelievable feeling being signed with Wiggle Honda for the remainder of 2013.
Unbelievable because not only are Wiggle Honda one of the world’s most professional female cycling teams, but because just 6 months ago I was riding with a friend and I communicated a single thought – I think I’d like to ride the Subaru National Road Series.
Six months later not only had I been asked to guest ride at 2 Subaru NRS races for Peta Mullens and Target Trek, but I had won Stage 3 at the Tour of Goldfields, Ballarat. Then, at a local club race, I fought for a lead-out wheel only to discover that this male competitor was a talent spotter for Wiggle Honda.
I am literally the girl whose life has been changed overnight. I am living proof that you never know who is watching, and that there are people like Rochelle Gilmore, sponsors like Wiggle and Honda, who afford opportunity because of their passion and dedication to people, life and the sport of cycling.
I first started riding after multiple running injuries forced me to stop. My dad was a gifted runner and whilst I was lucky to inherit his athletic abilities, I unfortunately also inherited flat-feet accompanied by ankle and knee problems.
So, I traded rubber soles for carbon and cleats and started riding for fitness. It wasn’t long before my competitive nature and desire for a challenge led me to racing at my local club, Sutherland Shire Cycling Club (SSCC) in October 2012. At first I could barely hang onto Men’s C-Grade. By the end of the SSCC twilight criterium season (Feb 2013) I had “conquered” C-Grade and moved to Men’s B-Grade.
I had tasted the “flavour” of victory and I wanted more. Unfortunately I went on a futile search for more competitive women’s racing, only to find that there was club racing or NRS and nothing much in between.
In June 2013, Cycling Australia published a press release communicating that they were seeking 32 national level road cyclists for a 10 day study and training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport. Whilst I was far from being a national level cyclist, my partner Alex encouraged me to sign-up. Although I did not fulfil the initial participation criteria I was determined to be involved. I proactively engaged, followed-up and sought to be a participant. I was ultimately awarded a position at the camp.
The exposure I received to elite training under the guidance of Martin Barras, the skills sessions and the friendships formed with the other 31 female cyclists consolidated my appetite for the sport. I subsequently gathered the confidence to enter a few more races and my hard work was rewarded with becoming Cootamundra Classic Women’s Champion (August 2013), B-Grade Tour Winner at the Canberra Women & Junior Tour (July 2013), 2013 SSCC Club Champion and 2013 SSCC Macquarie Pass Hill Climb Women’s Champion.
It was in September 2013 that my life really took a turn and I owe this to Peta Mullens for believing in me and giving me a chance. Peta sent me a text message wondering if I would be interested in guest riding for Target Trek at the Subaru NRS Capital Tour in Canberra (Sept 2013). Absolutely!
Each day I wake up excited to ride, feeling stronger and more confident in my ability. I know I am only scraping the surface of what can be achieved with clear goals, structured training, nutritional guidance and a strong support network.
I am constantly challenged and encouraged by 3 thoughts (I’ve outlined these below). I hope you are equally encouraged as you pursue your own passions whatever they may be.
1. One of the greatest challenges of life is to avoid the discomfort of the comfort zone.
2. The ability to succeed in life relies on your ability to take what others see as barricades and turn them into bridges.
3. Successfully achieving a goal is usually a matter of hanging on after others have let go.
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling is delighted to announce the signing of Joanne Tralaggan for the remainder of 2013. The 28-year-old Sydneysider is relatively new to competitive cycling but has made an almost immediate impact, winning the third stage of the recent Tour of the Goldfields.
“Joanne was identified by one of Wiggle Honda’s talent spotters at a local club criterium where she raced with the men and finished third,” explained Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team manager Rochelle Gilmore. “Jo’s ability to read a race, be in the right place at the right time and hold position is what has impressed the Wiggle Honda team management.
“Jo has only been racing for 6 months however her impressive performances at club level were reconfirmed by strong recommendations from around the Nation,” Gilmore added. “I believe Jo will compliment the Wiggle Honda team at the upcoming international event, the NSWGP…
“We will see Jo rise to the occasion and make herself noticed amongst a strong International field in Cronulla and Wollongong at the end of this month.”
Tralaggan will race a number of the upcoming Australian summer events, starting with the Wiggle Cycling Series “Speed in the Tweed” in Kingscliff, Queensland, this coming Sunday, November 24th. She will then take part in the New South Wales GP races in Cronulla and Wollongong, on November 30th and December 1st, and the Launceston Critérium, Tasmania, on December 8th.
“It is an honour to be signed with Wiggle Honda for the remainder of the 2013 season,” said Tralaggan. “Riding for Wiggle Honda, one of the world’s strongest and most professional women’s pro-cycling team, has always been an ambition of mine and I am overwhelmed that this dream had been realised!
“It just goes to show that you never know who is watching,” Tralaggan added. “Opportunity is everywhere. It’s a reminder to us all to keep striving for what we want to achieve. I’m new to racing and yet my world was literally changed overnight thanks to Wiggle Honda talent spotters and Wiggle Honda’s devotion to supporting women in cycling.”
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling is delighted to announce that Anna Sanchis will be joining the team in 2014. The 26-year-old from the Communidad Valenciana region of western Spain is the reigning Spanish time trial champion – a title that she won in 2012 when she was also road race champion – and has represented Spain several times at World and Olympic level.
“I’m so happy to be riding for Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling next season,” said Sanchis. “I’m really happy to be joining one of the best teams at world, which is so organised and professional. I look forward to riding with a group of really good riders, who will motivate me to work as hard as possible to help the team’s leaders to win a lot of races.
“After four years in Bizkaia, the team has given me everything they could possibly offer and whilst I’m very grateful that they have developed me to this level, I’m now ready for a change and to step up to the highest level,” she added. “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone from my previous team, Bizkaia, and all the other wonderful people who have supported me until now.
“On behalf of all the past Bizkaia athletes, I’d like to thank Jon Elorriaga and Dennis Gonzalez who have stood by us during the good times and, especially through those bad times when they had to personally struggle to offer their athletes all they could. I will be forever grateful.”
Daughter of former professional José Salvador Sanchis, Anna began her career in 2007, finishing seventh in her debut at the Giro Donne the following year. She finished 16th in the eight-stage race in 2013, after performing well in the mountain stages.
Her all-round ability to climb and time trial will make her a valuable asset to the team in stage races and team time trials.
“My own objectives are the stages races like the Giro or the Route de France, I want to do the best that I can in these races.”
Sanchis will be Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s first Spanish rider, joining the multinational line up from Great Britain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Japan and Sweden.
“Wiggle is delighted to welcome Anna Sanchis into the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team line up for 2014,” said Adam Ryan, Wiggle’s Head of Brand Marketing. “Anna is obviously a very talented athlete that will strengthen our team with her climbing abilities and overall work rate.
“It is also a very special signing for Wiggle as Headline sponsor to be able to support a Spanish professional female cyclist,” Ryan added. “Wiggle has enjoyed serving its growing Spanish customer base for many years now and we look forward to keeping them up to date with Anna and the team’s performances throughout the season.”
Emily Collins has won the New Zealand National Criterium Championships, in her home city of Auckland, on the country’s North Island. Despite being marked heavily throughout the 30-minute race, around a 1.1km downtown Takapuna circuit, the 23-year-old capped an attacking performance with a sprint victory over Sophie Williamson from Alexandra, with Karen Fulton of Nelson third.
“I’m over the moon to win the New Zealand Criterium Nationals tonight!” Collins exclaimed. “I went in with a pretty relaxed attitude after coming off a nice off season break, but after a three weeks solid training and preparation from Noosa, plus a bit of motor pacing with my old man, I managed to feel pretty good out there! “I was keen to be aggressive and make things tough from the go,” the 23-year-old explained. “I was pretty heavily marked, so it proved a bit difficult to create a gap. Sophie Williamson was the key contester and made things nice and heated throughout! I ended up deciding that my best chances would be to hold off for a sprint kick, so I tucked in for the final laps, but stuck in the top-three in a good position. “A solo rider took a flier the final lap and no one chased, so I decided to go for it with three-quarters of a lap to go,” she continued. “I managed to almost close before the chasing peloton reconnected, and I luckily hung in for a good kick to take the win.”
Collins took Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s first ever road victory, in the Omloop van het Hageland, in Belgium, back in early March, and is rounding off an excellent 2013 season as she finishes the year with the form in which she started it.
“I’m very pleased to win this on home soil,” she smiled. “I’m an Auckland girl so was great to have some favourite supporters out edging me on! I’m thrilled to get another National title for Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling!”
1. Emily Collins (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
2. Sophie Williamson (Alexandra)
3. Karen Fulton (Nelson)
Photo Credit: ScottieT.com
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s double Olympic champion Laura Trott dominated the second day of the Women’s Omnium in the first round of the Track World Cup, in Manchester. Competing on her home track, in the red, white and blue colours of Great Britain, the 21-year-old started the day down in sixth place after the first three events, but took second place in the Individual Pursuit, then won both the Scratch Race and 500 metre time trial to complete what turned out to be a comfortable victory.
An early start to the third day of the World Cup saw Trott complete the 3000 metre Individual Pursuit in a time of three minutes, 34.293 seconds, which was little more than a quarter of a second behind overnight leader Gillian Carleton of Canada, and enough to move the British rider into the bronze medal position.
Trott then took the Scratch Race, after lapping the field with Poland’s Malgorzata Wojtyra, and moved into the overall lead as Carleton could only manage ninth. With the result in her own hands going into the final 500 metre time trial, Trott was able to take her second victory of the day with a time of 35.331 seconds.
A total of 19 points over the six events meant that Trott took her second Gold of the Manchester World Cup five points clear of Carleton, who finished on 24, with France’s Laurie Berthon in third place with 26.
“Normally, in an Omnium, you’re sitting back, and you’re just racing the people that are in the top six, but I was never going to win the Omnium by doing that,” Trott explained. “So my coach was just like: ‘just go for it!’ he said to me at the side that he was more nervous [during the Scratch Race] than me!
“I hardly went to start with, I didn’t go full gas, and I could see [Carelton] chasing, and it wasn’t until I passed my coach again. We have hand signals, and he just said ‘floor it,’ so I just thought ‘I’ve got no choice now!’
“In the 500 my first half lap felt horrendous, but [the crowd was] cheering so I thought ‘I’ve got to do it, haven’t I!’
“I don’t want people to catch me up,” Trott said of her postion of the almost undisputed World number one in the six-event discipline. “I feel like I’m putting myself on the back foot at the moment, so I do really need to focus in doing a bit more stuff in the Omnium, but we’re going to. It’s still three and a half months until Worlds, so I’ve got time to concentrate on it.”
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Giorgia Bronzini and Elinor Barker were also both in action in the women’s Points Race, an event in which Bronzini – competing in the blue colours of Italy – was World champion in 2009. Despite both riders scoring well in the early sprints, five riders managed to lap the field; Bronzini took sixth place, and Great Britain’s Barker took 11th.
1. Laura Trott (Great Britain)
2. Gillian Carleton (Canada)
3. Laurie Berthon (France)
Photo Credit: SWPix.com
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Joanna Rowsell won her second Gold Medal of the opening round of the UCI Track World Cup, in Manchester, with a powerful display in the Individual Pursuit. In the red, white and blue colours of Great Britain, the 24-year-old Surrey rider posted a time of three minutes, 34.341 seconds in qualification, more than a second quicker than the next fastest rider, Rebecca Wiasak of Australia.
After two busy days on the boards of the Manchester Velodrome, where she had been part of Friday’s World Record breaking Team Pursuit, Rowsell’s winning time of three minutes 34.904 was fractionally slower than in qualification. It was still good enough to be almost two seconds quicker than Wiasak this time.
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s 20-year-old Italian Beatrice Bartelloni finished ninth in the event, with a time of three minutes, 47.107 seconds.
“I had a schedule to ride to, and I pretty much completely ignored it!” Rowsell laughed, following her winning ride. “Chris [Newton, Great Britain coach] walks the line and the idea is he’s on the line if you’re on pace.
“I came round after my second lap and he was up in the banking, so I thought: oh dear, I’ve gone out too fast here, which is absolutely fatal in a pursuit,” Rowsell continued. “But, doing so much Team Pursuit training, we’re used to starting fast, and doing 4-k Team Pursuit training luckily 3-k feels a bit shorter now.
“I got myself through the ride, and I could hear the crowd screaming really loud so I thought it was probably a good sign, but you never know until you hear the gun go at the end that you’ve won it,” she added.
Meanwhile, in the Women’s Omnium, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Olympic champion Laura Trott was also competing for Great Britain. After finishing sixth in the Flying Lap, and seventh in the Points Race, the 21-year-old managed to put herself into contention in her speciality event, the Elimination Race.
Spending much of the early part of the race safely near to the front of the pack, Trott then moved further back for the later sprints, keeping the partisan Manchester crowd entertained as she pipped the other riders on the line each time.
The final sprint for race victory came down to Trott and Olympic bronze medallist Nettie Edmondson of Australia and, despite a valiant effort in the final metres of the lap, the British rider was just unable to come around on the line.
Second place in the race meant that Trott ended the first of the event’s two days in sixth place, but is just four points behind event leader, Gillian Carleton of Canada, in a closely packed top to the Omnium leader board.
Result Individual Pursuit
1. Joanna Rowsell (Great Britain)
2. Rebecca Wiasak (Australia)
3. Katie Archibald (Scottish CyclingBraveheart.com)
Photo Credit: SWPix.com
Peta Mullens scored a near-perfect start to her career at Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling with a second place finish in the Subaru Australian Open Critérium, in Noosa, Queensland, on Saturday. Riding in her first ever race in black and orange colours, the 25-year-old Victorian managed to escape the peloton mid-race, along with Katrin Garfoot (QAS) and the two of them managed to hold off the chasing peloton together.
Mullens was just unable to overcome Garfoot in the sprint for the finish, while Australian criterium champion Kimberly Wells (Specialized-Securitor) led the peloton home behind them.
“I felt great out there today and put myself in the right position but unfortunately I was outwitted 200m from the finish,” Mullens conceded after the race. “The Wiggle Honda team all raced like professionals today and controlled the peloton until the finish. I was very proud to be out there representing Wiggle!”
“It’s so fantastic that Wiggle are really supporting us in Australia this summer and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve after this first summer season hit out!” Mullens added. “We hope to step up at the next race to thank Wiggle and our Aussie fans for their amazing support!”
1. Katrin Garfoot (Queensland Academy of Sport)
2. Peta Mullens (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
3. Kimberly Wells (Specialized-Securitor)
Photo Credit: Mark Gunter Photography
The Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling quartet of Elinor Barker, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott smashed its own World Record in the 4000 metres Team Pursuit yet again, in the first World Cup event of the 2013/14 season, at the Manchester Velodrome. Riding for Great Britain, the four riders qualified fastest with 4 minutes, 23.910 seconds, knocking two and a half seconds off the time they set at the European Championships, in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, then took another four seconds off this in the race for Gold.
The winning time of 4 minutes, 19.604 seconds was enough to beat the Canadian silver medallists by almost seven seconds, and was less than two-tenths of a second slower than the South African men’s team over the same distance earlier in the day.
“Because it’s such a new event we’re finding our own limits at the moment,” Rowsell told British Cycling shortly afterwards. “In training, in our first few sessions, we just plucked a number out of thin air for the gearing and the lap schedule. We had no idea where we’d be at for 4-k because you’ve got an extra girl, but that extra kilometre’s a long way when you’ve got all that lactic in your legs.
“Over the last few competitions we’ve just been nudging it that little bit further, that little bit harder,” she added.
A seven second lead over the Canadian team meant that the British Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling riders had something to chase in the final laps, which helped to get the team close to the kind of performance expected from many men’s teams.
“Having a team that you can see at the end obviously helps you go faster as well, and I think that to go sub-20 already is really promising!” Rowsell said.
“We always said that we thought we’d go quicker for 4-k than we went for 3-k at the Olympics – we’d go through 3-k quicker. I’m not quite sure what we went through the 3-k there in… It’s definitely going to get quicker, but I’d say we’re ahead of schedule at the moment.”
Having only just finished her winning Team Pursuit ride, King then took the start of the Scratch Race final, along with Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammate Giorgia Bronzini.
King crossed the line in third position at the end of the 40-lap race but, with four riders having lapped the field in the course of the race, this was good enough for seventh place. Bronzini finished four places back in 11th.
Result Team Pursuit
1. Great Britain (Elinor Barker, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott)
Photo Credit: SWPix.com