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News

Bronzini searching for World Championship sensations in Cadel Evans’ Race

Ben Atkins : January 30, 2015 8:51 am : News

Two-time former Road World Champion Giorgia Bronzini will be looking for the same sensations on the roads that saw her take the first of her rainbow jerseys in Saturday’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, in Geelong, Victoria. The 31-year-old Italian produced one of the sprints of her life at the end of the 127km race, back in October 2010, to condemn overwhelming favourite Marianne Vos of the Netherlands to yet another silver medal.

“Of course I have a great memory of Geelong!” Bronzini said. “I know that the finish will be different to the World Championships. It was a little bit uphill, who I like, but I hope to have the same feeling on Saturday!”

Although the Eastern Beach finishing straight will be far flatter than that on Mooraboool Street in 2010, victories in the Mitchelton Bay Crits and the Santos Women’s Tour mean that Bronzini will start the race as one of the overwhelming favourites, at the head of a powerful Wiggle Down Under team.

Alongside the former World Champion will be powerful domestique, and former Swedish Champion Emilia Fahlin, and British Criterium Champion Eileen Roe. The three European riders will be joined by two Australians, in Chloe Hosking and Nettie Edmondson; with the latter fresh from her National Record performance in the Team Pursuit at the Australian National Track Championships.

For Bay Crits winner Hosking though, who is building her form towards her first major season target at the Tour of Qatar, the Cadel Evans’ race – which will mark the retirement of the only Australian winner of both the Elite Men’s Road World Championships and the Tour de France – will be one of the biggest events on the Australian calendar in 2015.

“This is a really exciting race for Australia,” she said. “It’s been all over the news and reviewing prime time coverage and it’s really showing that cycling is more than a fringe sport these days; it’s right up there with the Tennis and the AFL.

“It’s exciting that, from the get go, a women’s race has been included,” she added. “A huge thanks has to go to Cadel for everything he’s done for Aussie cycling. The sport has never been more popular and this event shows that.”

Wiggle Down Under team for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (31st January)
Giorgia Bronzini (Italy)
Annette Edmondson (Australia)
Emilia Fahlin (Sweden)
Chloe Hosking (Australia)
Eileen Roe (Great Britain)

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Wiggle Teamwork Nets Santos Tour Sprints Jersey for Adelaidean Edmondson

Ben Atkins : January 21, 2015 2:10 am : News

Great teamwork from Wiggle Down Under riders secured overall victory in the Sprints Jersey classification for local rider Annette Edmondson in the fourth and final stage of the Santos Women’s Tour around downtown Adelaide’s Victoria Park. The one hour and ten minute criterium finished in a bunch sprint, with Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS) taking her second stage victory, ahead of Wiggle Down Under’s two-time former Road World Champion Giorgia Bronzini, with race leader, Hoskins’ teammate Valentina Scandolara taking third.

“The first target of the race was to secure the Jersey and we were really happy to get that,” Edmondson explained. “Once that was done we wanted to win the stage with Giorgia, so we’re a little bit disappointed.

“It was quite windy,” she continued. “The Orica-GreenEdge girls were on the front for the first 15 laps, just but luckily the Wiggle-Honda girls were prepared for that. We were up in a good position, out of the way. The first half of the race was really intense, because because all the Sprint and Mountain points were in the first half. After the halfway point everyone seemed to relax a little bit as they got ready for the final few laps.

“It was a pretty tough race out there!”

Wiggle Down Under’s Chloe Hosking and Bronzini took the first two places at the first Sprint, beating Hoskins to the line at the end of lap five, to protect Edmondson’s lead. The Adelaidean herself then took first place at the end of lap nine – having also taken the “Intermediate Climb” at the end of the previous lap – to take her total to an unassailable 22 points.

“It was a little bit confusing,” Edmondson laughed. “We had the Queen of the Mountain riders going for the sprints too, but luckily I managed to stay up the front for the next lap too, just in case and the girls helped me secure the points.”

Wiggle Down Under’s former Swedish champion Emilia Fahlin then took the third and final Intermediate Sprint to preserve Edmondson’s ten-point lead in the classification before the peloton began to shape up for the stage finish.

“Chloe and Emilia were on the front loads,” Edmondson said. “Luckily the jersey was pretty much secure by then and I really wanted to help out Giorgia as much as possible, but they did a lot of work to cover moves. I managed to stay out of the wind as much as possible and was able to focus on the job at hand.”

Although Bronzini narrowly missed out on her second stage victory in as many days, victory in the Sprints Jersey classification meant that local rider Edmondson was presented to the Adelaide crowd for a third day on one of the biggest day’s of the Australian racing season.

“This is a special race for me so it’s nice to have had the confidence of my teammates,” she smiled. “Especially in the crit the other day. Considering I was so fresh to the team, in my first race to have that confidence and trust, and that they were happy to work for me, meant a whole lot.

“Especially in front of a home crowd; that meant a whole lot to me.”

Result
1. Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS)
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Down Under)
3. Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS)

 

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Giorgia Bronzini Wins Santos Women’s Tour Stage Three In Small Group Sprint

Ben Atkins : January 19, 2015 10:52 pm : News

Wiggle Down Under’s Giorgia Bronzini cruised to victory in the third stage of the Santos Women’s Tour, the Jarvis Subaru Road Race between Tanunda and Athelstone, at the head of a small, highly select group. The hilliest day of the four-stage race saw just eleven riders arrive at the finish line together, with the former two-time Road World Champion taking the sprint victory by some considerable margin ahead of the Orica-AIS duo of stage two winner Melissa Hoskins and race leader Valentina Scandolara.

“After in the KOM [on Checker Hill after 42km] I managed to stay in front with ten girls,” Bronzini explained. “And four of them were GreenEdge!”

Despite her numerical disadvantage on the rolling terrain, Bronzini was able to comfortably remain in the eleven-rider group over the closing kilometres of the 71km stage and still had the power to take a comfortable sprint victory on her preferred type of finishing straight.

“I managed the race and I was able to do my favourite kind of sprint; one that is a little bit uphill,” Bronzini explained. “I was able to do my sprint without any problem, and I could take the victory.

“Thanks to all of my teammates and the staff, who trusted in me today,” she added. “The team deserves this victory!”

Action early in the stage saw Wiggle Down Under’s Adelaide local Nettie Edmondson take first place at the intermediate sprint, at the Mount Crawford Information Centre, just outside Williamstown, after 27km. Five points on the line took the Olympic Medallist’s overall total to 17, giving her a five-point lead in the Green Jersey Classification.

“In the beginning the stage was a little bit rolling and we worked for the intermediate sprint for Nettie and she won!” Bronzini smiled. “I hope that she can keep this jersey tomorrow in the final stage.”

Tomorrow’s fourth and final stage of the Santos Women’s Tour will be the Jayco Criterium around Victoria Park in the centre of the city of Adelaide. Set to be almost twice as long as the Jarvis Subaru Criterium on stage two, Wiggle Down Under will be aiming to both protect Edmondson’s Sprints Jersey, as well as repeat today’s team victory; either for Bronzini once again, or even for hometown girl Edmondson.

Result
1. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Down Under)

2. Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS)
3. Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS)

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Nettie Edmondson Takes Sprints Jersey On Santos Women’s Tour Stage Two

Ben Atkins : January 19, 2015 1:33 am : News

Wiggle Down Under’s Nettie Edmondson took third place in the bunch sprint of the second stage of the Santos Women’s Tour, the Jarvis Subaru Criterium, on East End, Adelaide, to take her first ever podium in the black and orange jersey in only her second race. The 23-year-old Adelaide local crossed the line in a close photo finish with winner Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS) and Australian criterium champion Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team) in second.

“It was a little bit of a mess at the end there, but we managed to do okay to get up on the podium, but obviously the goal is to win,” Edmondson said.

With the race taking place shortly before the men’s People’s Choice Classic – the traditional precursor to the Santos Tour Down Under – Edmondson made a second trip to the podium to collect the green Sprints Jersey.

Five points for victory in the race’s one intermediate sprint, along with two for the stage finish, gave the South Australian a total of 12 points and the lead in the classification.

“The plan had been for Chloe [Hosking] to go for the jersey yesterday, but then she wasn’t feeling so flash and she asked me to do the sprint,” Edmondson explained. “We knew that we were in second place today, so I just had to follow Lauren Kitchen [Roxsolt] who was in the lead, and I managed to win the win the intermediate thanks to some help from the girls.”

Wiggle Down Under’s former two-time Road World Champion Giorgia Bronzini finished in fifth place, just behind Edmondson, as the Adelaide rider admitted thing’s didn’t go quite to plan for the fast-finishing duo.

“In the final we were meant to organise a lead out train, but the riders got a bit mixed up together in the peloton and we were a bit spread out,” she explained. “I had Giorgia on my wheel, and we were moving up on the last half lap; the plan was that we were sprinting for Giorgia instead of me, but by the time we made the switch I led out too late for Giorgia, but sprinted too early for me!

“It was nice to get Wiggle Down Under on the podium, especially at the People’s Choice Classic, because there’s a lot of people out there – a lot of support – and to be able to represent on the podium in front of everyone just before the men’s presentation was pretty special.”

With two more stages to go in the Santos Women’s Tour, Edmondson is confident that Wiggle Down Under can take more results in the coming days, with Bronzini and Hosking carrying their good form over from the Mitchelton Bay Crits, and Hosking herself lurking just six seconds down in the general classification.

“I think we executed a lot of things really well during the race, but there are three girls in the team that are pretty new to Wiggle Honda and so it’s going to take a little bit of getting used to the way we ride together,” Edmondson admitted. “It’s exciting though, we’ve got another crit in a couple of days… We could maybe have done that a bit better, but we’ve got such a strong team that we want to capitalise on these races.”

Result
1. Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS)
2. Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team)
3. Annette Edmondson (Wiggle Down Under)

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Wiggle Down Under On Form And Seeking Success In The Santos Women’s Tour

Ben Atkins : January 16, 2015 3:59 am : News

Wiggle Down Under will take the start of the Santos Women’s Tour with a team in form, in and around the South Australian capital, Adelaide, this weekend. The four-day race, run alongside the men’s Tour Down Under WorldTour race will form a major part of this season’s Subaru National Road Series, and will see the long-awaited debut of Adelaide local Nettie Edmondson in the black and orange jersey.

“I’ve had the stuff in my house for quite a while now, and I’ve been looking at it every day, so it’s quite nice that the day has finally come when I can pop it on,” Edmondson smiled. “It’s always nice to start with a new team, to see how it works and meet up with a whole new group of people, so that’s exciting for me, and I’m definitely looking forward to this week’s racing.

“Also, to have all these incredible riders – both men and women – to come down to my home town of Adelaide is really special,” she added. “The Tour Down Under’s always a humongous event, and it’s growing every year, so for the women to finally be a part of it and be recognised is a special moment for us.

“The last three years we’ve had a women’s tour and it’s been growing every year. We’ve still got a long way to go, but I think a way that we can grow it even more is to incorporate our races alongside the men’s. They’ve tried to do that with a couple of stages this year, so we’re taking baby steps, and it’s really exciting for women’s cycling in Australia.”

Enjoying her second Australian summer, two-time former road World Champion Giorgia Bronzini comes into the race with the confidence of having won the final stage of the Mitchelton Bay Crits, as well as guiding teammate Chloe Hosking to overall victory. The 31-year-old Italian is looking forward to racing with her new teammate over the two road races and two criteriums.

“I’m really happy to have the possibility to race the Tour Down Under and I will try to find the right feeling with my team mates,” Bronzini said. “I’m really happy to begin racing with Nettie, I think she is one sprinter of the future, and I would like it if she can take some of my advice for her career.

“I think also that all of the girls will have the opportunity to take their own chance. Personally I will try to be good in the road races… they are longer than the crits!”

Hosking followed her Bay Crits victory with a strong performance in the Australian Championships, which was won by her new Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammate Peta Mullens. Since then the Canberra resident has been on a light training schedule as she prepares for later season targets, but can’t wait to race in what will be one of Australia’s biggest races of 2015.

“It’s really great that they’ve turned it into a National Road Series race this year, and that it’s four days,” Hosking said. “It’s not just criteriums either, there’s two short road races too, so that shows the growth of the event. I think there’s a pretty stellar field as well, so that’s fantastic, and hopefully this is the start of something to come. Maybe in the next couple of years we can see it go UCI, along with the men’s, and that would be awesome.

“I’ve had a really light week since nationals, so I’ll either be super-fresh or super-under-done,” she joked. “My objective is the Tour of Qatar, so I’m coming to Adelaide in support of Nettie and Giorgia, and hopefully we can get some more wins on the board for the team, and see how it goes.”

The five-rider team will be completed by British Criterium Champion Eileen Roe and ever-reliable former Swedish Champion Emilia Fahlin, who both played enormous roles in Bronzini and Hosking’s Bay Crits success.

Santos Women’s Tour, 17th – 20th January
Stage 1: Jayco Road Race – Woodside to Murray Bridge, 59km
Stage 2: Jarvis Subaru Criterium – East End, Adelaide, 40 minutes
Stage 3: Jarvis Subaru Road Race – Tanunda to Campbelltown, 71km
Stage 4: Jayco Criterium – Victoria Park, Adelaide, 1 hour 10 minutes

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Australian Champion signs with Wiggle Honda again!

Ben Atkins : January 12, 2015 3:55 am : News

Less than 24 hours after Peta Mullens won the elite National Road Title as an individually “Sram Seight” sponsored athlete, Peta has signed another one season contract with Wiggle Honda Professional Women’s Cycling Team.

“I’m the Australian National Road Champion & feel some responsibility to ensure that the jersey returns to Europe with a professional team,” she said.

 


Mullens signed her first ‘pro’ road contract with Wiggle Honda ahead of 2014 in order to compliment her MTB career, Peta spent 2014 juggling very demanding road and mountain bike commitments which resulted in her being completely burnt out just a couple of months ago.

When reflecting on the past season in Europe, Mullens commented: “2014 didn’t quite go to plan, I tried to do everything on the road and dirt without giving either discipline a clear priority, by the end of the season I could barely turn a pedal revolution”.

At the end of the 2014 season Mullens took six weeks off the bike to recover from chronic fatigue syndrome and reassess her career goals.

During this period, Mullens had already signed a contract with Wiggle Honda for 2015 however she was having second thoughts about what path would allow her the best opportunity to represent Australia at the Rio Olympic Games.

 


After discussing her hesitations and fears with close friend and Wiggle Honda team manager, Rochelle Gilmore they together agreed that they would nullify Peta’s road contract in order to put her mind at ease for the Australia summer, and, let her heart and legs decide if her future will rollout on the road, or on the dirt.

Saturday the 10th of January, Peta Mullens won what may be the biggest result of her cycling career, the National Road Championship. Mullens went into the race as a clear favourite after having displayed her incredible form during the Bay Cycling Classic, winning in Portarlington and when attacking continuously throughout the National Criterium Championship to take 2nd place on Wednesday evening.

What did this National Championship victory mean for Peta Mullens? Confusion.

Mullens had recently decided that with the personal support and backing from Sram, a cycling componentry brand, that she would pursue a career on the dirt and give 100% to MTB racing in the lead-up to the Rio Olympic Games.

 


The National Road Championship was always to be a preparation race for Peta’s next MTB races and even though her former and current team manager Rochelle Gilmore believed Peta could win, Peta doubted her own ability on such a demanding, hilly circuit.

“Peta was ready for this, she has no idea what she is actually capable of and how good she actually is,” Gilmore said. “I believe this result will help Peta recognise her talent and allow her the confidence needed to achieve her full potential in cycling – whether on the road or on the MTB.”

Gilmore and Mullens chatted just moments after her victory on Saturday about the opportunity to re-join Wiggle Honda for 2015.

“If I have the opportunity to sign with Wiggle Honda, keep my MTB commitments to Sram and keep the doors open to both MTB and Road opportunities leading into Rio, that would be the ultimate situation for me”. Mullens said.

Mullens and Gilmore both believe that if Peta was able to successfully hit peak condition for the Olympic Games in Rio, she may warrant selection to represent Australia on both the dirt and the road.

 


“Even after this victory, Peta’s heart is clearly still with MTB racing, however, I’d like to continue supporting Peta’s career and give her every possible opportunity to achieve her ambition of Olympic representation on both the dirt and road”. Gilmore said.

As of Sunday, January the 11th 2015, Peta Mullens has signed a pro road contract with Wiggle Honda for the 2015 season however, for now, her focus will remain 100% on her MTB goals leading into Rio.

“I’m content, I’m comfortable and extremely happy to have re-signed with Wiggle Honda,” she said. “The team, my teammates and our partners have become my family in Europe and I feel very fortunate to have this team on and by my side in 2015. Rochelle has been very open, honest, considerate and reassuring during this decision making process.”

 

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Jolien D’hoore Dominates Belgian Omnium Championships To Retain Her Title

Ben Atkins : January 5, 2015 11:26 pm : News

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Jolien D’hoore dominated proceedings at the Belgian Omnium Championships at the Vlaamse Wielercentrum Eddy Merckx, in her hometown of Gent, East Flanders, to take the National title for a third successive year. The 24-year-old, who is also the Belgian Champion on the road, won the first five events to virtually guarantee herself overall victory, but an extraordinary performance in the final Points Race meant that she finished with an incredible total of 310 points.

Topsport Vlaanderen-Pro Duo Ridley’s Lotte Kopecky took the silver medal with 267 points, having finished second to D’hoore in all six events, while a good Points Race from Lotto-Soudal’s Molly Meyvisch saw her secure the bronze medal with 198.

“The racing went well obviously,” D’hoore smiled. “I had a ten-day rest period and I’m only two weeks back into training. I’ve been doing a lot of gym sessions in the last weeks and that is paying off right now. I’m feeling myself faster and stronger than before.”

After new teammates Chloe Hosking and Giorgia Bronzini’s performances in the Mitchelton Bay Crits in Australia, D’hoore is another rider to have started her 2015 campaign with a victory. The Belgian champion’s next target will be her first race with her new Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling teammates at the Ladies’ Tour of Qatar from the 3rd of February, followed by the Track World Championships, which will begin on the 18th.

“Now I need to work on my endurance to get ready for the Worlds in Paris and of course for the road season which already starts in Qatar,” D’hoore confirmed. “Seeing the results of my teammates gives me motivation to work even harder.

“They’ve had an amazing start of the season and I can’t wait to race with them and meet them,” she added. “Together we will be hard to beat!”

Result
1. Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Lotte Kopecky (Topsport Vlaanderen-Pro Duo Ridley)
3. Molly Meyvisch (Lotto-Soudal)

 

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Hosking Wins 2015 Mitchelton Bay Crits As Bronzini Takes Final Stage Victory

Ben Atkins : January 5, 2015 10:14 pm : News

Wiggle Down Under’s Chloe Hosking completed her overall victory in the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic series in the fourth and final stage in Williamstown, Victoria, as teammate Giorgia Bronzini sprinted to the win. Two-time road World Champion Bronzini’s sprint was too powerful for Kimberley Wells (Roxsolt) at the end of the fast and furious 45 minute race, with Hosking herself taking third place to secure her yellow jersey.

“It was flat and fast, but it was even faster because Orica-AIS was so aggressive,” Hosking explained afterwards. “I don’t think there was 50 metres that went by when they weren’t attacking, so the girls did such a fantastic job, just covering everything!

“It was crazy. I was so, so proud of how we rode as a team. I think, every day, throughout the series we got better; riding together. It’s the first time we’ve all done it together, so of course that’s going to be the case, but today was phenomenal to be a part of.”

Despite having been part of the team that worked so hard to protect Hosking’s lead from attacks from the Orica-AIS and Roxsolt teams – along with Wiggle Down Under teammates Emilia Fahlin, Eileen Roe, Georgia Baker and Jess Mundy – Bronzini still managed to summon up the strength to beat criterium specialist Wells in the race for the line.

Hosking punched the air as she crossed in third place, safe in the knowledge that she’d done enough to secure her first Bay Crits title.

“I think Gio was so fired up!” Hosking exclaimed. “She’d done so much throughout the whole race, I couldn’t believe she still had so much power left at the end to win it! It just shows what sort of bike rider she is; she’s just so talented. For her to win, and for me to get third and keep the yellow; we went into the stage with that goal – to win and to keep yellow – and to actually achieve that is really awesome.”

Having won two stages in previous years, victory in the 2015 Bay Crits series – as well as her stage one win – is Hosking’s best ever performance in the New Year event. The 24-year-old Victorian’s near-perfect start to 2015 sets her up nicely for the upcoming international season.

“For sure this is a huge confidence boost,” she said. “I wasn’t really sure where my form was coming into the week, but now I’m a little bit more confident and – while I know that there are still areas I want to work on – I feel like I am actually at the level I was at last year and it seems easier to have gotten here. So that’s nice!”

Having joined Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling on the first of January, Hosking knows already that she made the right decision to sign for the most professional team in the women’s peloton.

“My first week with Wiggle has been fantastic!” she laughed. “We’ve had such an awesome team around us, and they made the whole week run really smoothly and I’m so happy to have come into such a well organised, professional environment.

“For it to actually have lived up to what it looks like from the outside: that’s fantastic.”

Result stage 4
1. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Down Under)

2. Kimberley Wells (Roxsolt)
3. Chloe Hosking (Wiggle Down Under)

Final General Classification
1. Chloe Hosking (Wiggle Down Under) 34 points

2. Lauren Kitchen (Roxsolt) 29
3. Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS) 26

 

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Hosking Holds Overall Bay Crits Lead As Bronzini Takes Second On Stage Three

Ben Atkins : January 4, 2015 8:57 pm : News

Wiggle Down Under’s Chloe Hosking held onto the series leader’s yellow jersey after the third stage of the 2015 Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, in Pontarlington, Victoria, as teammate Giorgia Bronzini took second place. The hilly circuit race was won by former Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling rider Peta Mullens after a long, solo break, but former two-time road World Champion Bronzini’s sprint power on the uphill finishing circuit saw her hold off another former teammate in Roxsolt’s Lauren Kitchen.

Wiggle Down Under’s stage one winner Hosking finished fifth in the uphill sprint and, following her third place behind Orica-AIS’ Gracie Elvin on stage two, maintains her overall lead.

“I wasn’t sure how I would feel going into today’s third stage,” Hosking said afterwards. “It’s on a really tough circuit and isn’t necessarily suited to my strengths but we had agreed that I just had to glue myself to Gracie Elvin’s wheel and suffer and that’s what I did.

“I wasn’t able to go with the final kick for the line at the end but luckily we had Gio up there who finished second so that was fantastic,” Hosking added.

Fifth place on the stage means that Hosking now has 26 points in the points-based General Classification but, thanks to consistent finishing from Kitchen means that the former Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling rider trails by just two points with one stage to go.

The final stage in Williamstown, Victoria, which was won by Bronzini as part of her near-total domination of the 2014 Bay Crit series could see a close battle between a number of overall contenders, with the final yellow jersey going down to the wire.

“I’ll be honest I’m a little nervous about GC,” Hosking admitted. “Coming into the series this wasn’t even something I had thought about so to be in the position is a bit of a shock.

“Two points is not a big buffer and definitely not comfortable either,” she added. “But I know we’ve got a great team for the Williamstown course and the girls have been so fantastic and supportive all week I know they’ll be there to help me keep the yellow tomorrow.”

Result
1. Peta Mullens
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Down Under)
3. Lauren Kitchen (Roxsolt)

5. Chloe Hosking (Wiggle Down Under)

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Chloe Hosking wins Mitchelton Bay Crits opener for Wiggle Down Under

Ben Atkins : January 2, 2015 10:13 pm : News

Chloe Hosking won her very first race in the black and orange colours as she took the opening stage of the 2015 Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, on Ritchie Boulevard, Geelong, Victoria, for the Wiggle Down Under team. The 24-year-old from nearby Bendigo was the fastest of a group of five riders that escaped midway through the 45 minute race, and beat former Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling rider Lauren Kitchen (Roxsolt) and Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS) into second and third.

“It’s a pretty incredible way to start with a new team I think!” Hosking laughed. “I don’t think it could have been much better!

After several early attacks had been chased down, Hosking escaped with Williams, Kitchen and fellow former Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling rider Peta Mullens, and Miranda Griffiths (Holden Women’s Cycling) and this was the group that managed to make it stick. They crossed the line 19 seconds clear of the next group, containing Wiggle Down Under teammate Giorgia Bronzini, the 2014 Bay Crits champion and only overseas rider ever to win the series overall.

“We went away about 25 minutes into the race, and all the big teams were in there, so I think the peloton was like: ‘we’re happy with that.’” Hosking explained. “I was confident; I knew the girls in there, and I thought I had it over them in the sprint. But then also having Bronzini in the back there took a lot of pressure off, and gave me a pretty easy ride.”

“It was pretty aggressive,” Hosking continued. “Roxsolt was pretty aggressive in the beginning, and we had Emilia [Fahlin] and Eileen [Roe] up there covering everything. But we knew we had Bronzini and I, so we wanted to make sure we were represented in anything that really went, and as it just turned out I ended up in a break!

“I just looked around and thought: ‘okay, they’re letting us go!’”

Having officially become part of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling on the 1st of January, Hosking’s victory for Wiggle Down Under is a perfect start to her season in the black and orange colours. As a committed team player, however, the Australian was still thinking of her teammates even as she stood on the podium.

“I don’t think it could have been much better,” she smiled. “It could only have been bettered if I could have helped one of the other girls to a win. But Wiggle got the win and it was really nice!

“I’m really, really happy and hopefully in the next three stages we can pick up some more wins, with Giorgia and some of the other girls.”

Hosking’s victory is her second on the Ritchie Boulevard stage, and the 24-year-old took last year’s second stage in Eastern Park ahead of new teammate Bronzini. With one win already for the team in this year’s series, Wiggle Down Under could come close to its near-total domination of 2014, where the Italian former World Champion took three stages and the overall.

“We’ll just see how it goes tomorrow,” Hosking said. “We’re not really thinking about the overall yet, so I’m not really sure what the team plan is, but with having such a strong team we’ve got more than one option.”

Result
1. Chloe Hosking (Wiggle Down Under)

2. Lauren Kitchen (Roxsolt)
3. Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS)

 

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