Gruffudd Lewis: Pro Cyclist to Ironman Triathlete
Gruffudd Lewis is a former pro cyclist from West Wales who has turned his attention to triathlon. As a cyclist, he won numerous Welsh National titles, including National Road Race and Cyclocross Champion. He's now set up his own team, Caffi Gruff, named after the cafe-come-bike shop he owns. He's also Trainee Directeur Sportif for a cycling team. In triathlon, he was part of Kristian Blummenfelt's successful sub7 attempt. He completed his first triathlon at Ironman Wales in 2022 in 10h 43min, on very little triathlon specific training. He's keen to see what he's capable of in the world of multi-sport.
08:00 Gruff's background and how he got into cycling. He got a road bike when he was 15 or 16, so he could get into the nearby town from the village he lived in. He joined the local club and started time trialling. But he left it behind for a period as an older teenager, but came back to it when he was 20.
12:00 How hard is it to make a living from cycling when you're not the top cyclist in the world? 'I was just completely obsessed and I was in a massive rush to be good.' Riding for British teams as a domestic pro at the UCI continental levels, you could earn between £20-30,000 year.
17:00 Why is cycling struggling so much at the moment? Gruff says it comes down to money and people don't have hundreds of thousands of pounds they might not get anything back from.
20:30 We talk about his team 'Caffi Gruff' and why he started it up.
25:00 How did Gruff end up doing Ironman Wales for his first ever triathlon? He did 2.5 months training for it (but was very bike fit!) He talks about how he prepared for the running, having spent so much time on the bike as a professional cyclist. "I ran an hour but I knew my bike fitness would carry me through." I just to hit enter again for 2023.
30:00 We talk about the idea of individual training versus training in a group and talking goals out loud and juggling everything. 'Triathlon is easier to do than just cycling.'
32:00 How is Gruff's first year away from the professional cycling world and looking towards more triathlon races? "It's not everything, getting stuff for free. It's definitely been a change this year. The memories of the training camps are some of my favourite memories, when there's no pressure and you're not in a gutter in Belgium."
38:00 Is there anything Gruff would take from the World of cycling into the world of triathlon?
41:00 We talk about the sub7 project and how Gruff ended up getting involved with it. "It was one of the highlights of my year." "KB is one of the most ordinary blokes but he's one of the most hardworking athletes I've ever met."
45:00 Would Gruff like to try and be a pro triathlete? 'I'm definitely not doing anything now in my mid-thirties that I don't enjoy doing.'
47:00 Gruff shares his tips for descending and bike handling.
53:00 We talk doping - Gruff shares his thoughts on it.
Find out more about this week's guest:
Gruff Lewis Instagram
Caffi Gruff website
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