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Australian sprinter Chloe Hosking has inked a one-year deal with the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team and will join the British-registered squad for the 2015 season.
The 24-year-old has spent the past two seasons racing for Norwegian-based Hitec Products but was told by the team in August that her contract would not be renewed.
Hosking had been in talks with other teams by that point, but the news from Hitec Products gave her greater urgency in looking for a new team for 2015.
“I had a few meetings with GreenEdge [Orica-AIS] and thought that could have been a really good option for me leading up to the [sprinter-friendly] 2016 World Championships in Qatar”, Hosking told CyclingTips. “But when push came to shove I didn’t get offered a contract which was a fairly massive blow as I’d really been putting all my eggs in one basket.”
Hosking told CyclingTips that she considered retiring from the sport.
“I’m about 14 weeks away from finishing my university [journalism] degree and at the end of the day it would be easier to go back to Australia, get a real job and say, ‘well I’ve been to the World Championships, I’ve been to the Commonwealth Games, I’ve been to the Olympics. That’s enough.'”, Hosking said.
“But when I really thought about it, it isn’t enough. I’ve just turned 24, I feel like every year I’m still getting better as a rider and there’s a World Championships in Qatar in two years.”
Hosking began talks with Wiggle Honda’s Australian owner and manager Rochelle Gilmore in August and signed a contract in September. Hosking sees her role at Wiggle Honda being slightly different to what it was at Hitec Products.
“I’d had two years at Hitec as the lead sprinter and I don’t think I really delivered what I should have in that role”, Hosking told CyclingTips. “The depth at Wiggle gives me the opportunity to be more opportunistic and ride a more aggressive style of racing which has actually seen me be more successful than just ‘sitting in’ and sprinting.”
Hosking has two UCI-classified victories to her name in 2014 — the Omloop van Borsele and a stage of the Lotto Belisol Belgium Tour. She was also third overall at the Ladies Tour of Qatar at the start of the year, a race that is high on her priorities list for 2015.
“I’ve been on the podium the last two years and I’m over being a bridesmaid”, Hosking said.
Chloe Hosking is the latest in a string of high-profile signings for Wiggle Honda in 2015, with the team also welcoming the following riders: Belgian national champion and fellow sprinter Jolien D’Hoore, Frenchwoman Audrey Cordon-Ragot, former Giro Rosa winner Mara Abbott, Hosking’s current Hitec Products teammate and training partner Elisa Longo Borghini, British criterium champion Eileen Roe, and fellow Australian Nettie Edmondson.
Hosking will pull on the black and orange jersey of Wiggle Honda in competition for the first time at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic (better known as the “Bay Crits”) in the first week of January.