Insider with: Gracie Elvin

Thu 4 Aug 2016

Former two-time Australian road race champion Gracie Elvin has gone from strength to strength over the years racing with ORICA-AIS since 2013.

The 27-year-old is currently in Rio preparing for the Olympic road race along with three other riders from the ORICA-AIS squad representing Australia. 

Being a professional female cyclist is a consuming lifestyle and not just about results on the bike. Here we take a closer look at Elvin and give you more of an insight into what makes her tick. 

What is the funniest thing that's happened to you this year?

“It's hard to remember one main thing as we have so much fun together on this team! I always love when our sport director Gene Bates comes training with us. He is very competitive and I love to wind him up for all the town sprints and watch him suffer. Sometimes he gets the better of us though!”

What was your best race so far this season?

“My second place at Ronde Van Drenthe earlier in the spring season. Everyone, including me, has a war story from this race, it's just one of those races where everything and anything can happen.

"I had an almost perfect day this year and I was the first Australian woman to be on the podium in the new Women's WorldTour series. It gave me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season.”

What's the worst thing that has happened in a race this year?

I think crashing three times at the Aviva Women's Tour was probably one of the hardest thing I've had happen to me this year. Luckily I was just scraped and sore and nothing more serious.”

Which race were you most nervous about this season?

"I'm always really nervous at the Tour of Flanders because it's my favourite race. You have to have some good luck on your side with all the cobbled sections to make it through the day without any problems. I'm getting closer every year and I really want to win it one day.”

Do you have any interesting or weird facts about yourself?

“I have a small bright blue birthmark on my shoulder blade.”  

What is your favourite meal and music?

“I love Italian food when we live in Europe, but I always miss the amazing Asian food that you can get in Australia. I'd kill for a good Thai or Japanese meal especially when I'm halfway through the season.” 

“I’m really into podcasts when I ride. Anything from comedy to science and I love “Hamish and Andy” to feel like I'm home. “This American Life” for great stories, “Osher Gunsberg” for great interviews and “Serial” to get you hooked. Our very own ORICA-BikeExchange rider Mitch Docker also has a great podcast for cycling fans.”

Who influences or helps you the most when you're at races?

“This year it has been my teammate Annemiek Van Vleuten. She is one of the best riders in the world but she tells me that I am, even in the middle of a race. She always wants to race aggressively and I get excited when she wants me to be part of her plans.” 

What are your goals for the rest of the season?

“My big goal coming up is doing the best I can at the Olympics. I will take a short break after that race before building up again to qualify a place at the world championships in Qatar by racing well in the Holland Ladies Tour.”

What is the first thing you will do after your final race this season?

“My favourite thing to do is to get home to Canberra, Australia as soon as I can to hang out with all my favourite people that I don’t get to spend time with while I am away racing in Europe. 

What do your miss most being away from home?

“I am very close with my family and friends and I miss the simple things like spending time with them, having meals and coffee at home or at all the nice Canberra cafes.”

Finally, if you weren't a cyclist what would you be?

“I grew up with parents who have had lots of different careers and I think I will be the same. I couldn't decide on my passions except for cycling. I was a keen horse rider when I was younger so my dream job would be to work with horses, but probably I would be a vet/doctor or own a health and fitness business.”

Each week the “insider” piece will feature one of the current ORICA-AIS riders. 

We wish Elvin the best of luck racing this weekend in Rio and for the remainder of the 2016 season with ORICA-AIS.