Newly-crowned Australian road champion Peta Mullens has re-joined Wiggle-Honda for the 2015 season although her primary focus will be on mountain biking. Mullens rode for the squad in 2014, combining a mountain bike and road schedule, but she had initially opted out of that dual commitment for 2015 after suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome at the tail end of last season.
Mullens lined up for the Australian championships in the colours of personal sponsor Sram and had planned that it would be her final road race of the 2015 season. After out-sprinting Rachel Neylan for the win, however, Mullens spoke with Wiggle-Honda team manager Rochelle Gilmore and re-thought her status.
“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 has thus penned a contract with Wiggle-Honda for 2015, albeit with the freedom to concentrate on mountain bike events as she builds towards the Rio 2016 Olympics.
“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 said of Mullens’ national title win.
“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.”
The 26-year-old Mullens is also the reigning Australian champion in the mountain bike cross country eliminator event and finished fourth in the Nove Mesto World Cup in 2014. Her victory in the Australian road championships at the weekend was her second win of 2015 after she landed the third leg of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic the previous week.
“I’m content, I’m comfortable and extremely happy to have re-signed with Wiggle Honda,” Mullens 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.”