Tuesday, 5 November 2013


After a week full of hype, media and plenty of ‘Wiggle’ jokes in my first week as a professional, it was nice to escape with Jarrod to my favourite Aussie holiday destination…Noosa! It was also my first chance to meet up with fellow Wiggles Emily Collins, Lauren Kitchen and team owner Rochelle Gilmore. We all know that pinning a number on in November means different things for different people, and with the girls having come off a European season, Noosa is usually more about beach time and less about pedaling. Regardless, we had a line up on paper that saw three prior champions and a New Zealander united as a force to be reckoned with.

Even Peter Sagan was no match for the Wiggles - kidnapped on the beach!
Our team meeting was a little vague with so many unknowns, so discussions were based around the numbers game of Specialized; 7 riders, vs OGE; 3 riders; vs Wiggle Honda; 4 riders and how we thought the main threats would play the game. We figured that OGE would attempt a break, and that Specialized had cards to play with a break, but were more likely to win the race from a bunch sprint with Kimberley Wells. The nature of the hotdog circuit at this time of year (with such variations in competitors form) lends itself to a break, which has been proven over the last four years. So our theory was to cover the moves, seize any opportunities in a breakaway, and try to leave race favourite Wells behind in the peloton.

Loren Rowney (Specialized) was active all day (Mark Gunter)
The call up to the line was unique. It started with the return to racing for dual Commonwealth Games gold medalist Megan Dunn (Specialized), followed by defending champion Kitchen. Then four National Championships hit the line; Road Race Gracie Elvin (OGE), Time Trial Shara Gillow (OGE), Criterium Champ Wells and MTB Champ me! But when the gun sounded it was Amy Bradley (Specialized) who attacked off the line. It was nullified early, as were most moves throughout the race. NRS winner Katrin Garfoot (QAS) was the first notable break on a solo mission, before Emily Roper (Suzuki Bontrager) tried her luck off the front.

Marked again by the Specialized girls.. (Mark Gunter)
The intermediate sprint was taken out by Louise Kerr (Bike Bug) as the nerves built around the prospect of a break that nobody wanted to miss. Groups of six to eight would roll off the front, with Collins and Kitchen always present, but they were too big and the combination never seemed right. As we were given three to go the race seemed to die, as if everybody was poised for a sprint until Elvin attacked at two to go. The bunch hesitated so I took up the chase, and attacked over the bridge when the timing felt right. Kate Finnegan (Specialized) and Garfoot set chase, but only Garfoot made contact. Then there were two… I led the sprint out but could only manage second behind the in-form Garfoot. Wells had left the peloton behind to claim third.

Podium L-R: Mullens, Garfoot, Wells (Mark Gunter)
My fitness was better than expected, but the transfer back to the tarmac and a new bike in the Colnago C59 had me a little uncomfortable for most of the race; possibly needs some tweeking in position. Although I would have loved to have won my first race as a professional, I was glad to finish on the podium, be back-pain free and have my reputation at Noosa unscathed; three podiums from three starts! A swig of ‘champas’ turned into a great night of celebrations that have me looking forward to the season ahead.

Soaking the new 'dhb' Wiggle clothing! (veloshotz)
Thanks to Wiggle for making it possible for us to support the domestic season, and to ‘dhb’ for kitting me out in orange for the race! Another flawless weekend by MultiSportTri events meant that I could partake in the celebrity breakfast and Legends Tri to complete my mini holiday. So as quickly as I turned to road, I now turn back to the dirt for the Bundanoon Dash and Highland Fling this weekend in New South Wales. It is yet another iconic event on the calendar, and although my form is not quite deserving of a victory, I look forward to putting the kms in the bank for when it counts in 2014!
Cheers to Wiggle... here's to 2014!!!

Results: Noosa GP
Press Release: Wiggle Honda