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Less than 24 hours after Peta Mullens won the elite National Road Title racing with the “Sram Seight” team and intending on returning to Mountain Bike racing this season to focus on Rio 2016, 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 professional 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.
“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.
This past Saturday (10th of January), Peta Mullens won what may be the biggest result of her cycling career, the Australian National Road Championship. Mullens went into the race as a clear favourite after having displayed her 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.
After winning National Championship Peta Mullens indicated this could put her current mountain bike plans for 2015 into question.
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.”