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Peta Mullens “You only live once”

Peta Mullens was born on the 3rd March 1988 in Bendigo, Victoria Australia. Since the day she was born Mullens has a very interesting story. She was born a twin, four weeks premature and unconscious. After eight minutes with no air and a tube down her throat, She took her first breath. She was born an ‘Aussie Battler’.

Mullens was an active child from the age of 9, competing in athletics and cross country and at just 13 she completed her first marathon. At 15 she was crowned Australian Mountain Running Champion, then dabbled in Triathlon for 3 years before collecting Junior Australian titles in Road & Track Cycling, in addition to a bronze medal at the Junior Worlds. ““I was juggling athletics and triathlon at the time when taking part in a track carnival. I was competing in the 2000m Steeplechase event when I got pushed off the water jump and landed badly, spraining my ankle. Athlough not a serious injury it was enough to prevent me from running for a while and gave me time to try out some cycle races-I never looked back.”


After her introduction to cycling Mullens raced for the AIS in Europe for two years before meeting a boy in Bendigo, and leaving the sporting culture she had lived and breathed her whole life.

She tried to ease herself into the real world but instead she wanted a piece of everything it threw at her. Mullens was working full-time in Retail Management, studying a Diploma of Conveyancing and renovating houses in-between training when she secured another two National titles in XCM and XCO MTB disciplines. After missing an Olympic year cycle, and with the Commonwealth Games fast approaching Mullens decided that she was hungry for something more.

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling
This year Mullens will pack her suit-case, her dreams and ambitions and of course her new orange Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling kit, and re-locate to Europe to complete a full season both on and off road. She will be combining a domestique roll on the road with a World Cup season on the MTB, all that while chasing a sixth National title, a birth at the Commonwealth Games and World Championships, and more amazing memories to continue on her journey as an ‘Aussie Battler’. “I am really proud and relieved I have returned to cycling. It was always a tough decision to step away from the sport, but I’m proud that I was honest with myself and that I can now return to the sport in a more confident and mature state.”


But becoming  one of the “Wigglettes” wasn’t that obvious for Mullens who has spent the Australian winter working full-time as a retail manager, while being forced to spend time off the bike to recover from a back injury. She even felt it would be her last days as a professional athlete. “I wasn’t satisfied and I knew there were more challenges out there I was yet to face. So I made a plan that evolved around balancing a MTB and Road Racing calendar through 2014 and called in a favour from long-time friend and owner of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Rochelle Gilmore.”

To join Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling was in her eyes the safest way to jump start her career as a professional athlete. Mullens has worked with Gilmore before in one of the teams she owned back in 2009, HP-Teschner. That she is now riding for her first professional team owned by her long-time friend makes it even more special. “I always knew that it was a dream of hers to run her own team, and in some way she has always been such an integral part of sponsors and team management in all of her previous teams, it was just a case of how she could balance the two. When I thought about that International leap to becoming a professional rider I thought back to all the stories I’ve heard of struggles in smaller teams and knew that a team managed by Rochelle (Gilmore) was a team that I definately wanted to be a part of, and the most enjoyable and safest way to jump start my career as a professional cyclist.”


Australian Summer racing
Having joined the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team in late October the 25-year old has had a very successful first few months with the British-licensed team in the Australian Summer racing with a win in the NSW Grand Prix in Wollongong and second places in the Noosa GP and the Australian National Criterium Championship last week. On top of that Mullens was part of the team that dominated the summer racing with prestigious wins in the NSW Grand Prix, Launceston GP and the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic. But Mullens isn’t surprised at all. “When I joined Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling I knew exactly what to expect and I wasn’t disappointed. Professionalism, passion and of course the feeling of winning that seems to go in tow with the Wiggle Honda name.“ 

At the moment Mullens is preparing for her first big race of the season,the Ladies Tour of Qatar (February 4-7). She is really looking forward to the race and to meet all the team and staff throughout the season. “I expect that as I gradually meet the team throughout the year and become a part of the family that many memories will be made and that there will be many victories and enjoyable moments.  Past that I expect  that there will be a lot of challenges both on and off the bike but with such a great support (sponsors, team, staff) they’ll only be small bumps in the road-cobbles if you will.”


After the Tour of Qatar Mullens will head back home for a couple of weeks for some Mountainbiking before returning to Europe with her boyfriend and team mechanic Jarrod Moroni in mid-March.  Mullens, who considers herself an all-rounder, is going to focus on the one-day races. “I’m best suited to one day races. I like hills but not mountains, and can sprint but I’m not a sprinter. In Australia we would say ‘the Jack of all trades and master of none’. I do love to read a race and predict the tactics of the other teams though, that’s my favourite part.”

Her calendar is yet to be finalised but after Qatar, her European racing block will begin mid-March.  “My European racing block kicks off mid-March with the team training camp in Italy. My season hopefully includes either a Commonwealth Games or World Championships start. I don’t really believe in making short- and long-term plans. I mean the Olympics always come to mind but I tend to seek happiness in whatever I do and if that leads me to the Olympic, Commonwealth Games or World Championships then I’m up for it.”


Mullens, who’s motto is “NGU (never give up)”, is going to combine a road season with a MTB World Cup (Target Trek MTB Team) season will have a very full schedule throughout the year.  But the 25 year old from Bendigo acknowledges it will be hard to combine both disciplines. “I’ll give it my best shot! It’s hard for me to say if it’s ‘do-able’. There are a few girls who juggle it, but it takes an amazing athlete to succeed at both. So I’ll see where this year takes me and what aspects of it I enjoy, and then decide if I continue to combine both in the next few years towards the Olympics.”

Asking Mullens how she got introduced into mountainbiking after being on the AIS road team several years ago she says  ”The AIS program structure was perfect for the type of athlete I was as a junior, but it didn’t suit the ‘free spirit’ athlete that I became. So when I left the AIS road program I took a break from cycling, and had my boyfriend introduce me into MTB’ing. The addiction was immediate and after some success, it became an obvious career choice for me.


But don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the different challenges that each discipline presents, but more than anything I’ve just followed my heart and head through it all. I’m sure it would be a lot easier to do just one discipline, but where’s the fun in that? You only live once.”

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