HEADER

BABY BOOMER.

 

At 22, Ella Bloor is the baby of Specialized Women's Racing team. Her innocence is infectious. She's forever smiling and full of surprises. And also quite possibly the only member of the team who's familiar with the name Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Not a Spring Classics specialist. So what does one of the leading pioneers of modernist architecture have to do with cycling I hear you ask. The German-born architect was one of Ella's biggest inspirations on the way to becoming a Bachelor of Architecture Design at the University of Sydney.

 

Architecture is an influence Ella acquired from her father. "The love he has for his projects, his clients and the relationships he developed through his work really inspired me. He's incredibly passionate," remarks Ella. "I love working on the little details. It's in the detail that I find beauty. Even with our bikes and our kits; it's the small features that I tend to love and appreciate the most."

 

"It's in the detail that I find beauty. Even with our bikes and our kits; it's the small features that I tend to love and appreciate the most."

 

"I was into horses and thought it was silly that people would want to race bikes."

It was also her father's devout passion for cycling that ultimately got her on to wheels and off four legs. "I was into horses and thought it was silly that people would want to ride and race their bikes," she says. "And then my father took me to a race one day and, well, the rest is history as they say."

Originating from the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, her first foray into racing was mountain biking. Her first bike was a hand-me-down from her brother – an aluminium Avanti v-brake. It's fair to say she's traded up a few notches since then.

"I bought a road bike because I thought it was good cross-training," says Ella. "And then I got into the local sporting academy. Then that led to track cycling. I enjoyed the competition there was on the road. For female mountain bikers, particularly where I'm from, there just wasn't the depth. I loved that you would turn up to a road race and you would never really be sure who was going to win. I enjoyed that challenge."

Image3

Despite a soft and warm exterior, that desire to challenge herself still burns bright. Having completed her degree in Sydney, she has now joined fellow Specialized Women's rider, Lucy Bechtel, in the nation's capital where Ella will begin her Masters of Architecture at the University of Canberra in the coming weeks. Questioned about becoming a professional cyclist, Ella is no less ambitious but incredibly level-headed. "I'd love to be able to sustainably race and ride my bike, instead of juggling all the other little elements. But the real issue is there's no direct pathway. Even if you're winning races, there's not a clear path to becoming a professional athlete. I, guess, if you're winning races, making breaks, someone's going to notice you …"

 

If current form is anything to go by, Ella was an absolute stalwart at this year's Women's Tour Down Under, working tirelessly for the team, she may yet surprise herself. But not before she surprises me one last time. "I just found out a few weeks ago my grandpa was on the first Great British expedition team to mount Everest."

 

Expect to see Ella following in the footsteps of her family and scaling new heights – on and off the bike.

Image5
Image4
Image8

SPECIALIZED WOMEN'S RACING WILL COMPETE IN THE STAGE 2 OF THE INAUGURAL WOMEN'S HERALD SUN TOUR. JANUARY 31 FROM 4PM.


DISCOVER MORE ABOUT SWR