Mullens gears up for hectic year of racing

BENDIGO cycling star Peta Mullens is facing a hectic start to the year.

Thursday's opening round in the Mitchelton Bay Classic criterium series will be the start of many major events for Mullens at home and overseas.

The 25-year-old will mark her ninth start in the Bay criterium series when she lines up for Wiggle Honda on the Eastern Beach circuit at Geelong.

Mullens began this year by being runner-up in the Bay series.

"I am yet to win a round in the series, but have had a lot of podiums (placings) over the years," she said on Monday.

"The Bay crits is a fantastic series.

"The circuits are the fastest in the world and I have had some success (individual and team) on the Bay."

The motto "the power of dreams" is etched on the Wiggle Honda colours.

In 2014, Mullens will be doing all she can to achieve her dream of representing Australia.

The brilliant all-rounder is the reigning national cross-country champion on the mountain bike circuit .

Mullens was ninth in this year's road race at the Cycling Australian championships at Buninyong.

The national MTB title earned a monthly award in the Bendigo Bank-backed Bendigo Advertiser-WIN Television Sports Star of the Year award.

"Racing on the mountains and the road is a goal for next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow."

It looks a daunting task, but Mullens is not fazed in what will be her first full year as a full-time cyclist.

Qualifying for Glasgow is based on various selection criteria.

Just days after the crits are run and won and Mullens will be at Buninyong for the Mars-backed national road championships.

She won the under-23 national title at Buninyong in 2009.

"The course is an extremely tough one.

"For next year's nationals the course reverse to the traditional 10-laps on a shorter loop."

The women's national road race will be contested on Saturday, January 11.

Mullens and partner Jarrod Moroni, a classy competitor on the road, track and mountains, spent last Saturday training on the nationals road course at Buninyong.

"The most testing part of the nationals is the hill climb and having to do so 10 times."

Her road campaign then rolls onto Adelaide and the Women's Cup being held in conjuction with the Santos Tour Down Under.

The Women's Cup will start with a criterium on January 19  on Victoria Drive in Adelaid.

Racing on January 20 will be a stage race from Angaston.

The Cup finale wil be a criterium on January at Prospect.

In February and Mullens will be bound for a UCI race in Dubai.

Her pursuit of a consecutive cross-country title at the national MTB championships will be on March 8 at Bright.

Later in March and Mullens, along with Moroni, will head across to Europe for a lengthy series of road races.

"We will be based in Europe for a lot of the year, but will be in Cairns in October for a World Cup round on the mountain bikes."

Although there are many hours training, Mullens said she enjoys the variety of racing.

Some of the early-morning training sessions are with the Tasr Bunch.

"Every race is a challenge. It's something I really look forward to," Mullens said.

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