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Interview: Wiggle Honda’s Joanne Tralaggan

By Tim Wiggins/Wiggle

We caught up with Wiggle Honda’s latest team member Joanne Tralaggan; an enthusiastic Aussie who has seen her life transformed as she has been enveloped in the world of female pro bike racing. “Living proof things do and can happen to ordinary people” she talks us through her journey so far…



It is an unbelievable feeling being signed with Wiggle Honda for the remainder of 2013.

Why unbelievable?
Unbelievable because not only are Wiggle Honda one of the world’s most professional female cycling teams, but because just 6 months ago I was riding with a friend and I communicated a single thought – I think I’d like to ride the Subaru National Road Series.

Six months later not only had I been asked to guest ride at 2 Subaru NRS races for Peta Mullens and Target Trek, but I had won Stage 3 at the Tour of Goldfields, Ballarat. Then, at a local club race, I fought for a lead-out wheel only to discover that this male competitor was a talent spotter for Wiggle Honda.

I am literally the girl whose life has been changed overnight. I am living proof that you never know who is watching, and that there are people like Rochelle Gilmore, sponsors like Wiggle and Honda, who afford opportunity because of their passion and dedication to people, life and the sport of cycling.

I first started riding after multiple running injuries forced me to stop. My dad was a gifted runner and whilst I was lucky to inherit his athletic abilities, I unfortunately also inherited flat-feet accompanied by ankle and knee problems.

So, I traded rubber soles for carbon and cleats and started riding for fitness. It wasn’t long before my competitive nature and desire for a challenge led me to racing at my local club, Sutherland Shire Cycling Club (SSCC) in October 2012. At first I could barely hang onto Men’s C-Grade. By the end of the SSCC twilight criterium season (Feb 2013) I had “conquered” C-Grade and moved to Men’s B-Grade.


I had tasted the “flavour” of victory and I wanted more. Unfortunately I went on a futile search for more competitive women’s racing, only to find that there was club racing or NRS and nothing much in between.

In June 2013, Cycling Australia published a press release communicating that they were seeking 32 national level road cyclists for a 10 day study and training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport. Whilst I was far from being a national level cyclist, my partner Alex encouraged me to sign-up. Although I did not fulfil the initial participation criteria I was determined to be involved. I proactively engaged, followed-up and sought to be a participant. I was ultimately awarded a position at the camp.

The exposure I received to elite training under the guidance of Martin Barras, the skills sessions and the friendships formed with the other 31 female cyclists consolidated my appetite for the sport. I subsequently gathered the confidence to enter a few more races and my hard work was rewarded with becoming Cootamundra Classic Women’s Champion (August 2013), B-Grade Tour Winner at the Canberra Women & Junior Tour (July 2013), 2013 SSCC Club Champion and 2013 SSCC Macquarie Pass Hill Climb Women’s Champion.


It was in September 2013 that my life really took a turn and I owe this to Peta Mullens for believing in me and giving me a chance. Peta sent me a text message wondering if I would be interested in guest riding for Target Trek at the Subaru NRS Capital Tour in Canberra (Sept 2013). Absolutely!

Each day I wake up excited to ride, feeling stronger and more confident in my ability. I know I am only scraping the surface of what can be achieved with clear goals, structured training, nutritional guidance and a strong support network.

I am constantly challenged and encouraged by 3 thoughts (I’ve outlined these below). I hope you are equally encouraged as you pursue your own passions whatever they may be.


1. One of the greatest challenges of life is to avoid the discomfort of the comfort zone.
2. The ability to succeed in life relies on your ability to take what others see as barricades and turn them into bridges.
3. Successfully achieving a goal is usually a matter of hanging on after others have let go.


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