Roxsolt Attaquer has started the 2019 season in a giant way, winning the Lexus of Blackburn Bay Classic Criterium Series (Bay Crits) General Classification, Teams Classification and Stage 3, The Elite & U23 Australian National Road Cycling Championships and the U23 Australian National Road Championships - Individual Time Trial.
The team started racing on the 1st of January in Geelong, Australia at the Bay Crits. After animating the race all day including a 2 up break containing Peta Mullens and Amanda Spratt (Lexus of Blackburn All Stars/ Mitchelton-Scott) Spratt broke away from Mullens leaving the top placed rider as Valentina Scandolara who took 4th in the bunch sprint.
Stage 2 of BayCrits had Roxsolt Attaquer riders again animating the race with Valentina Scandolara represented in the winning move alongside Chloe Hosking (Lexus of Blackburn All Stars/ Ale Cipollini) and Matilda Reynolds (Specialized Womens Racing). Hosking would go on to win the stage with Scandolara taking 2nd from the break of 3.
Peta Mullens was active in Stage 3 of BayCrits early riding off the front in the first 10 minutes of the race. Mullens was joined by Natalie Redmond and Romy Kasper (Lexus of Blackburn All Stars/ Ale Cipollini). The trio worked well together quickly lapping the field before the halfway mark. The bunch was sprinted with 3 laps to go to enable the first 3 placing to be resolved without the influence of the lapped riders. A late attack by Veronica Lebedev (Gusto StepFWD KOM Powered by Suzuki) was covered by Emma Chilton causing the Lexus of Blackburn team to start the leadout of Hosking early.
Scandolara undertook Hosking coming into the final corner and kicked again off Chilton who was the final rider to be caught from the late break. Vale easily won the bunch sprint for 4th with Hosking only just rolling Chilton on the line for 5th and Emma taking 6th. The team then got to watch Mullens sprint for the top 3 places. Redmond immediately attacked dropping Kasper who worked her way back onto the wheel coming into the final lap. Mullens overtook Redmond in the finish straight to take the win, with Redmond 2nd and Kasper 3rd. This moved Peta into 3rd overall with Roxsolt Attaquer taking a stage, first and 3rd on GC and 1st in teams classification.
In hot and windy conditions Peta Mullens, Emma Chilton, Sarah Gigante and Josie Talbot took to the line at the Australian National Criterium Championships with Valentina Scandolara stepping into the Sports Director role for the championships. In the criterium, Mitchelton-Scott riders were super aggressive with Gigante, Talbot and Mullens all covering attacks. Peta adhered herself to the majority of moves but Mitchelton-Scott never seemed content to work the break despite the initiation or would further attempt to attack the break disrupting the swapping of turns. As a result a bunch sprint was the result and despite being on the wheel of race winner Rebecca Wiasak, Josie Talbot was swamped in the finish leaving the team without a top 10 result for the first time in 2019.
A regrouping for the road race resulting in Sarah placing herself in the early break that went on the 2nd lap. Realising the composition of the break, Peta was first to call the break as the winning move and set about settling in to the bunch. In the last quarter of the race a number of attacks from Shara Gillow (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) saw the lead group brought down to three riders including Gigante and Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott). At the same time Mitchelton-Scott riders started to launch across from the bunch and then Roy and Gillow started to cat and mouse. Sarah took advantage of this at 15km to go and attacked riding solo to the finish to claim both the elite and U23 road race titles. Sarah (followed in the car by Vale) then went on to win the U23 Individual Time Trial two days later, finishing 7th in the elite category.
Currently, Josie Talbot is racing with the UniSA Australian National Team at the Santos Women’s Tour Down under and Sarah will join the team for Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Herald Sun Tour. Emma Chilton races for the Oceania Regional Team at Gravel and Tar in New Zealand.
The team will then look towards the Oceania Continental Championships in March before heading once again to the USA for May-July.