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Wiggle High5 ready to end Australian season at Cadel Evans Ocean Race

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling faces its last major race of its Australian campaign this weekend, with Saturday’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The black and orange team will be without double World Champion Nettie Edmondson, who has returned to the track in preparation for the Australian National Championships, but the other riders from the Santos Women’s Tour will be present.

The team will be led by Olympic Champion Dani King, who finished the Santos Tour in fourth place overall, and took the Mountains Classification, along with the Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s other two Australians, Chloe Hosking and Peta Mullens. The team will be completed by King’s British compatriots Amy Roberts and two-time Junior World Champion Lucy Garner.

“I’m really looking forward to Cadel’s race on Saturday, after feeling good in the TDU, and looking at the course I’m excited about how the team can perform,” said King. “It’s quite an open course so I think the wind can play a part in the race, and also the climbs towards the end.

“Last year Rachel Neylan won solo so I think its a race in which different scenarios could play out,” King added. “I’ve really enjoyed my time in Australia, I’ve been here for 3 weeks now and the training and racing has been great. The next stop for me is Qatar then home to Wales before the Spring Classics start. But for now: bring on Saturday!”

After having taken second place in the Santos Tour’s Adelaide Criterium stage, behind teammate Edmondson, Hosking is confident that her form is building nicely for the season after recovering from last year’s hand injury. The Canberran will be there to support her teammates, but will be one to watch if the peloton should finish together on the Geelong Waterfront.

“I raced this event last year and it was one of the best races of 2015,” Hosking said. “That it’s now been made a UCI race is fantastic and I think a reflection on the success of the first editions.

“It has a bit of everything — wind, flat, hills — so it’s really a race that could end in a number of ways which really suits our Wiggle High5 team as we’ve got a mixed bag of riders here. Dani is in the form of her life, Peta is dancing on her pedals and our young ones Lucy and Amy will have finally adapted to the time zone and climate change after arriving only two days before the Tour Down Under.

“For me, it’s the final chance to flush all the nerves out before the Ladies Tour of Qatar next week and get one final hit out. I’m looking forward to it,” Hosking added.

Victorian Mullens is one rider that is especially looking forward to the event, for a number of reasons. The former Australian Champion will know what to expect on familiar roads, and will be there to closely support her on-form teammates.

“It’s pretty close to home for me, quite literally and also metaphorically; it was where I raced my first World Cup which also finished on the waterfront in Geelong, just past Deakin University who have coincidentally partnered with Cadel’s Road Race to make the Women’s Race possible.

“Knowing how the race panned out last year, we know we have to be alert in the early stages. We’ve ridden the course this week and noted the wind conditions, so we know where the danger zones are.

“Both Chloe and Dani are in amazing form leading into the Tour of Qatar and both are capable of making an impact in the latter stages of the race. It’s almost a classic style race in the final 15kms so we expect there to be some excitement!”

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling team for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
Lucy Garner (Great Britain), Chloe Hosking (Australia), Dani King (Great Britain), Peta Mullens (Australia), Amy Roberts (Great Britain)

Photo Credit: Jarrod Partridge/JXP Photography

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