Rory Gravelle Q&A

Rory Gravelle is making the jump from UK junior to U19 racing with the Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale U19 Team.

Rory Gravelle is another rider that was supported in his early days by Handsling, who have and still are supporting promising young riders in their pursuit of excellence. According to Handsling “It’s been an absolute pleasure seeing Rory winning everything in sight on our frames – the A1R0evo road bike, TR3evo track bike, and CEXevo cyclocross bike”. Now that he’s on the way riding his favourite monument, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, we got him to answer a quick-fire Q&A; take it away Rory.

So, Rory Gravelle, how did you get in to cycling?

I started cycling at the age of two and joined my local cycling club Towy Roders at the age of four where I did my first cyclo-cross race; and crashed into the tape barrier!

Rory Gravelle takes another win
Rory Gravelle takes another win

Did you/do you have a cycling hero?

A rider who I looked up to is Scott Davies, he rode as a professional for teams such as Dimension Data and Bahrain Victorious. He is local to Carmarthen and also attended the same club as me.

How/when did you get into racing?

I started racing at the age of four in the Welsh cyclo-cross League where I raced up until 2019. I took the decision to concentrate on road and track, but still enjoy ‘cross and riding my CEX.

Catch 'em young! A young Rory and his Handsling A1R0evo
Catch ’em young! A young Rory and his Handsling A1R0evo

You’ve had a good season, what was your highlight?

I really enjoyed the 2023 season, it was filled with highs and lows which has helped me to develop as a rider. Being selected to represent GB at the European Youth Olympics in Slovenia was a massive highlight. However, it didn’t go to plan due to some unfortunate events. Winning the British Series is also up there.

What’s the best way to win sprint or solo?

I love to win no matter how, going off the front at the BC National Series in Loughborough was exciting and staying away made the effort worth while. I also enjoy a bunch sprint!

What would you have changed? Tactics/training/kit?

The main learning for me over these two years is to say when I am feeling under the weather.

Now that you have this season under your belt, what’s the plan for next year?

To gain confidence in junior racing, being selected to ride for the Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale U19 Team will see me riding alongside some of the best riders in the world.

Favourite type of riding, track, road, off-road?

Road is my favourite discipline, I also really enjoy track racing. I do both throughout the year which I think compliments my riding style.

Rory's second love after the road is the track.
Rory’s second love after the road is the track.

What do you do when not riding, is there time for other pursuits?

I am loyal to my roots and enjoy spending time with the friends who I grew up with. I also enjoy running and do spend my fair share of time on the xBox.

What’s your favourite ride, could be a place, group or person?

My favourite ride would have to be a Wednesday night chain-gang in Carmarthen… It,s brutal and has finished off many a good rider.

For 2024 Rory Gravelle will be one of 15 riders on the Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale U19 Team
For 2024 Rory Gravelle will be one of 15 riders on the Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale U19 Team

Where would you like to ride?

I like exploring new places all the time, as long as I am on my bike I’ll ride anywhere.

Favourite bit of kit?

I have been fortunate to have been supported by Simon and the team at Handsling for the last three years, riding the A1R0evo has been the pick of it all.

Best post-race food/drink?

An orange Fanta straight after a hard ride or race always cuts it.

How’s your French?

I am learning French through the week to help me next year.

We wish Rory Gravelle all the best with next season with the Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale U19 Team and will keep you informed of how he gets on. You can read our previous rider Q&A here.

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