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Mullens takes Wollongong race as Wiggle Honda dominates NSW
 
By Bart Hazen
Date: 12/1/2013
Mullens takes Wollongong race as Wiggle Honda dominates NSW
 

Peta Mullens takes Wollongong race as Wiggle Honda dominates the NSW GP
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.

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.

Peta Mullens
Photo © 2013 Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling

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'!”

 

Wiggle Honda
Photo © 2013 Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling

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.

Peta Mullens, Charlotte Becker
Photo © 2013 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.”

Result
1. Peta Mullens (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
2. Charlotte Becker (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

3. Sophie Williamson (Wakatipu New Zealand)

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