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                                 Kowalski Tour - June 2006   Junior National Training - June 2006   Mooball Tour - May 2006    

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Also, see Peta Mullen's Commonwealth Games interview  Click here




Peta Mullens' 2006 Diary

As part of the Australian Junior World Championships squad, Peta Mullens and Tess Downing, two selected riders from Victoria, rode the Kowalski Tour after a squad training camp in Canberra. Peta provides an update to their build-up to the trip to Europe.

Kowalski Tour  (Canberra)

Friday 7th July - Sunday 9th July

Friday 7th July - Time Trial 17km

After our final day at camp the endurance athletes remaining ventured to Canberra for a final three days of pain and agony. There were many tired faces and few lively conversations as we clocked another 300km, where the temperature was dropping 1 degree every 20 kilometres!! The site at Canberra was not one that I had longed for; bush, hills, ice, and no portaloos (some of us were forced to use a more basic solution!). But as we unpacked our bikes and prepared to race, adrenalin took over and motivated us to do the unthinkable...... take our leg warmers off! The course was similar to previous years, although a different starting location had lengthened the course another few kilometres, totalling 17km for the females. The first half was over and down a steady climb and then back again, with the second half a dead flat section where the disc wheels would come in handy, and then a final battle against the wind to the finish.

Carla Ryan put in an unexpected yet outstanding time trial to finish 45 seconds clear of her nearest rival Tess Downing, who took out the U19W division. Downing, after battling sickness all season, had finally found her form. Josephine Tomic of WA, after dominating the time trials throughout the year, was beaten for the first time. Tomic had fallen sick throughout the Sydney training camp and after a disappointing time trial, decided to sit out the remainder of the weekend in an attempt to recover for her journeys to Italy and the Junior World Road Championships. Tomic still managed third, ahead of local Liz Hayman, and New Zealand competitor Keri-Anne Torckler. I finished 1:04mins off the pace, placing 6th respectively. Vicki Eustace entered the Tour as an obvious favourite and a clear leader of the National Road Women Points Series, but was unfortunate to suffer a puncture in the time trial, subsequently ending her Tour. 

Elite Women

1 Carla Ryan QLD 27:42.09

2 Tess Downing* VIC + 45

3 Josephine Tomic* WA + 49

4 Liz Hayman ACT + 51

5 Keri-Anne Torckler* NZL + 59

6 Peta Mullens* VIC + 1:04

7 Judith May ACT + 1:12

8 Toireasa Gallagher NSW + 1:12

9 Tiffany Cromwell* SA + 1:23

10 Kate Charge TAS + 1:47

* Denotes under 19 women competitors



Saturday 8th July - Road Race 1 - 75.1km

An early wake at 6am and a mere -3'C did nothing for my motivation, although the New Zealand girls had motivated me the day before with their not-so-funny sense of humour. They thought it would be hilarious if they poured litres of icy water out the window of their van over the bunch of us that had chosen to ride home after the time trial. Today I was simply out to beat the NZL's! The race got off to a quick start and surprisingly a bunch of 30 girls was reduced to just 15 in the first 10km. After the first QOM we were down to just 9 including the likes of Ryan, and Tasmanian pair Grace Sulzberger and Kate Warren. The majority of the pace making was done by Tiffany Cromwell up the climbs and over the second QOM there were splits appearing in the remaining bunch, but everything was bought back together again. A steady pace resulted in the chase group almost 2minutes down at the half way point and the deficit only grew. Just past the 40km mark Deborah Fagg, a fellow Victorian in the lead bunch suffered a puncture and was unable to rejoin. We were now down to 8. 

In the closing stages just prior to the final QOM, I was forced to withdraw from the race with a broken chain. I watched the last 3 kilometres in the follow vehicle as an attack from Judith May put Emma Crum of NZL, Downing of VIC and GC Leader Ryan in trouble. Ryan was able to regain her composure over the top of the climb to lead out the final sprint. Sulzberger positioned perfectly on second wheel was almost uncontested and breezed to a comfortable win over Ryan and team mate Warren. May and Cromwell finished 4th and 5th respectively. Downing continued her chase after the final climb and finished just metres off the back, giving her bunch time. Crum just a mere 28 seconds off the pace. I was given last in the lead break due to my mechanical occurring in the closing stages of the race, which enabled me to start the next day and placed me 3rd on GC standing behind Ryan and Downing. 

Elite Women

1 Grace Sulzberger* TAS 2:23:21 -20secs

2 Carla Ryan QLD s.t -10secs

3 Kate Warren TAS s.t -5secs

4 Judith May ACT s.t -2secs

5 Tiffany Cromwell* SA s.t

6 Tess Downing* VIC s.t

7 Peta Mullens* VIC s.t

8 Emma Crum* NZL + 28

9 Joanna Somerville NSW + 3:25

10 Toireasa Gallagher NSW s.t


 * Denotes under 19 women competitors

Sunday 9th July - Road Race 2 -  58.1km

I thought the day was warmer than yesterday, but after seeing the ice present on the portaloo seat I realised that I was mistaken! The start of the race panned out similar to the day before when 6 girls broke free over the first QOM. The 3 girls missing from the day before included May, Fagg, and Sulzberger who had all been involved in a nasty crash on the first descent of the day. May and Fagg were taken to hospital with Fagg encountering a suspected broken collar bone, the second within a span of 12 months! On a positive note Sulzberger, winner of stage 2, showed her amazing strength by chasing down the breakaway in a matter of kilometres. A group of 11 females now assembled and aside from a few attempts from Cromwell, the bunch was quite sedated. Keri-Anne Torckler of NZL tried a few desperate attacks in an attempt to steal a breakaway win but was quickly covered by Cromwell and Sulzberger. Although bloody, battered and bruised, suffering from her earlier crash, Sulzberger showed her strength and determination in trying her luck off the front in the closing kilometres.


As expected a bunch sprint would determine the winner. Downing and Sulzberger kicked a few lengths clear after leading out into the final corner and it would be a long drag to the finish. Just when it seemed that Sulzberger would do the double she began to die, allowing Downing to gain a bike length in the closing metres to take the win. I was able to kick again to claim second over Sulzberger. A clear margin back was Cromwell in 4th and NZL's Keri-Anne Torckler in 5th. It was a successful day for the U19W claiming the first 5 positions. There was no change to the top 10 GC standings except that Judith May, who previously sat in 4th, was now a DNF after failure to finish the race.

Carla Ryan's time trial enabled her to secure a clear lead which led to an easy win for the weekend, while Cromwell's strength showed through in the QOM points standings. The weekend results show only positive predictions for the likes of Cromwell, Sulzberger and myself in the up and coming Junior World Road Championships, and best wishes are with Tomic to recover from her sickness. Tess and myself are also heading to the Junior World Road Championships and there is no doubt that her form will transfer to the track for some successful performances. 

Elite Women

1 Tess Downing* VIC 1:53:53 -20secs

2 Peta Mullens* VIC s.t -10secs

3 Grace Sulzberger* TAS s.t -5secs

4 Tiffany Cromwell* SA s.t -2secs

5 Keri-Anne Torckler* NZL s.t

6 Carla Ryan QLD s.t

7 Emma Crum* NZL s.t

8 Kate Warren TAS s.t

9 Liz Hayman ACT s.t

10 Joanna Somerville NSW s.t

* Denotes under 19 women competitors


Final General Classification

1 Carla Ryan QLD 4:44:46

2 Tess Downing* VIC + 35

3 Peta Mullens* VIC + 1:04

4 Tiffany Cromwell* SA + 1:31

5 Grace Sulzberger* TAS + 1:48

6 Kate Warren TAS + 2:15

7 Emma Crum* NZL + 2:40

8 Liz Hayman ACT + 4:26

9 Toireasa Gallagher NSW + 4:47

10 Keri-Anne Torckler* NZL + 5:27


QOM Points

1 Tiffany Cromwell* SA 21

2 Peta Mullens* VIC 16

3 Grace Sulzberger* TAS 15


* Denotes under 19 women competitors



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