Audi Centre Sydney Turbo Studio Race Team

BEN WRAY

A Q&A with Ben Way

  • When and how did you get into cycling?

    I always rode for fun, but got into cycling a bit more seriously when I moved from Scotland to Sydney and joined SUVelo in 2011. Coffee rides became long bunch rides, social riding became racing, C grade became B grade became A grade, and here I am.

  • What is your favourite event?

    I like everything - crits, road races and TTs. But I think Lansdowne might be my favourite course.

  • What is your favourite long ride?

    I love long solo rides in a new place. I am lucky enough to get around a bit for work and nowadays it's pretty easy to cobble a route together from Strava stalking and Map My Ride. I once went on a 165km ride out of Austin, Texas on a 40+ degree summer day and I saw all sorts of sh*t. Longhorn cattle, huge American flags deep into God country and then possibly the best Mexican food I've ever had from a cantina in a servo in the middle of nowhere - I thought it was a mirage at first! Rides like that are the best. As a (semi) regular ride, 3 Dams in Perth, WA stands out. It's a great ride to get out of the city and get a bit of climbing on quiet roads. I am a big fan of a solo 160-180km rides on quiet roads - these are some of the rare times in life one can still be disconnected from any media and just have time to relax let the mind wander. I keep meaning to do 5 Dams, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I also love the SUVelo TDU Friday Epic - but that's a whole other story...

  • Any other hobbies?

    No way - between work, looking after our amazing baby daughter and trying to ride at a half decent level there isn't a lot more free time. But if I did have time (and energy) I'd spend some with my family, play and watch football, do more DIY and gardening, learn some languages, do more long training rides, get out of the city more, indulge my love of craft beer and wine, cook and eat more food (not sure if that one's possible)... And after all that I'd get back on some long rides to work off all the food and drink.

  • Favourite park-up?

    Regular - Black Market Coffee Roasters on Enmore Road. Preferably with my wife, Sam. I'm also a huge of fan obscure park-ups. Hot Star Chicken in Adelaide in the middle of a January afternoon after a 170km day in the heat is a good memory. And on work trips I like to try and get at least one day where I ride after work and park up for dinner and a beer. We should all strive for more pub park ups as a general rule.

  • What is your day job?

    Lawyer

  • What was the appeal of joining the race team?

    I was already a coaching client of Jo's and regularly trained at Turbo Studio, going back several years. I'd raced with teams in the past, but with an all-consuming job featuring a lot of late nights and travel and our first child on the way, I just couldn't sign up for the level of commitment needed to keep up with 65kg students who ride 25 hours a week and still want to go pro. I knew a lot of the race team guys from club riding and races and I'd always admired the way they conducted themselves, so when I wanted to get back to racing with a team Jo and Nic were the first people I spoke to and fortunately they were happy to have me on board! The TS race team has a great balance of training and racing hard, but still understanding that ultimately cycling is a hobby for us and we all have family and work commitments that sometimes have to come first.

  • Tell us your favourite cycling story

    Not sure it's a favourite, but possibly one of the most embarrassing. I spend a fair bit of time over in WA with my in laws and like to get out riding in the Perth hills with my father in law and his mates. Oddly enough, Emma Pooley (British ex-pro, all round hard nut and absolute gun rider) used to do a lot of (Northern Hemisphere) winter miles out in the Perth summer and rode with their bunch from time to time. I think she stayed with her Aunt in Perth who knows one of the guys. Welshpool Road is the classic climb up into Perth Hills. It's a steep 15-20 min effort and it's often very gusty. As the youngest in the group by about 20 years and lightest by about 10-15 kilos, I would usually clip off the front and see the guys at the top. On this day however, Emma was with us and she set a blistering pace as soon as the road went uphill. I stayed with her as the bunch disappeared behind us, then rolled through to take a turn. After a couple of these I was starting to flag and wondering what I'd gotten myself into. I was on the front and my power was dropping. Emma pulled alongside me, not even out of breath, and said something to the effect of: 'you don't need to stay with me, I'm just going ahead so I can stop for a piss at the servo'. Safe to say I let her wheel go...

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