Interview: Myfanwy Galloway
Interview with 21 year old Myfanwy (Miffy) Galloway from Canberra, Australia. Galloway will ride for the new Honda women's team (UCI) next year alongside Rochelle Gilmore, Olympic champion Nicole Cooke and multiple Giro winner Fabiana Luperini.
Myfanwy (Miffy) Galloway is a 21 year old professional cyclist from Canberra, Australia. Next year she will be racing in Europe with the Honda women's UCI team. Miffy is looking forward to supporting current Olympic champion Nicole Cooke, Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Rochelle Gilmore and 5x Giro d'Italia winner Fabiana Luperini as the team aims to establish itself as one of the strongest in the World. Meanwhile in Australia, for the 2011/2012 summer Miffy is racing in support of Nicole Cooke and Rochelle Gilmore as part of the Honda Dream Team. An interview:
Can you introduce yourself?
Hi! My name is Myfanwy (Miffy) Galloway and I am a 21 year old female cyclist from Canberra, Australia. In between racing my bike and being with my friends, I love long walks on the beach and eating ice cream out of the tub.
How did you get involved with cycling?
I use to horse ride and play competitive soccer when I was 16 and my dad, who is a keen cyclist, couldn’t wait to get me on a bike to increase my fitness for my chosen sports at the time. From the moment I jumped on the bike I was hooked, and the decision to switch to cycling became easier when my parents bought me a new bike for my 17th birthday instead of a horse.
What type/kind of rider are you?
Ask me that question back in 2009, and I would have told you I was a pure hillclimber. Since then, I have been working on improving my general strength and power and whilst I still have a naturally high power to weight ratio and love a good mountain climb, i’ve developed into more of an all-rounder! Give me a job, and I’ll do it.
Miffy at the Krasna Lipa team presentation. Photo ©
2011 Bart Hazen
How do you look back at your past season? Having strong results in Australia and some good rides in Europe.
The latter half of my 2011 season has turned into one of my more successful seasons to date largely due to the fact that this is the longest i’ve been without suffering from injury or illness. Over the past few years my biggest challenge in cycling, as most athletes can appreciate, has not been the racing and training - it has been trying to stay injury free and healthy for the season. This year has also been my 2nd self funded racing season overseas and I was determined to use all the lessons I had learnt in 2010 to make the most of my time overseas and ensure 2011 would not end up going down the same path. I think that is why it has been more successful – I have been more proactive in doing everything necessary to ensure I continue to move forward in the sport.
You are going to ride next year with the Honda team of Rochelle Gilmore and Nicole Cooke. Did you expect to get a spot on that team?
To be honest – no. I had the pleasure of racing for Rochelle and the Honda Dream Team at the Oceania Championships in 2011 and we stayed in contact throughout the season where she was generously providing me with advice and guidance in regards to my racing in Belgium. I had no idea that this relationship would end up with me being selected to ride as part of the Dream Team back in Australia for 2011/2012 summer, let alone warranting a spot on a the UCI Honda Team for 2012. It was a pleasant surprise to say the least and I feel very privileged to be given the opportunity to develop in and support such a professional outfit.
What are the ambitions of the Honda UCI team? And why did Honda decide to start sponsoring a UCI team.
The ambitions of the Honda UCI team in 2012 are to win World Cups, the Giro d'Italia and the Olympic Games. The team’s roster includes Nicole Cooke, Rochelle Gilmore, Fabiana Luperini as well as proven World class domestiques was built with these goals in mind. A strong performance at the World Championships would be a bonus at the end of a long hard season! Honda have had previous success working with Rochelle and wanted to be able to help the team’s selected athletes to achieve their Olympic Dream in the home country of Honda Europe's HQ, the United Kingdom.
Fooling the photographer.
2011 Bart Hazen
2010 was your second season in Europe after the Australian summer came to an end (if I am correct). What have these two seasons learned you to become what you have reached now?
Yes, you’re right! In 2009 I was fortunate enough to be in Italy with the Australian National Team and in 2010 I was in Holland racing with the Dutch SwABoLadies team. The one thing i’ve learnt over the past 2 years is that, on and off the bike, the things worth having in life don't come easy; but that’s what makes you appreciate them that much more when you get them. The personal and physical obstacles I have encountered over the past 2 years have definitely made me the person I am today. Everyone has their own sob stories of how they have overcome adversity to be where they are today, you just hear about some more than others. In one way, I am thankful that my short cycling career hasn’t been smooth sailing as I have been constantly forced to ask myself if cycling was truly something I want to pursue – and every time I am faced with the question my answer is always the same, yes. It may sound sad to a casual observer, but not much brings me as much joy as riding my bike. The past two seasons racing in Europe have definitely made me stronger, both physically and mentally.
What do you expect for your first real season as a professional bike rider?
A lot of learning! Not only will I be racing as part of a professional team, I will be competiting in a different league of races as well as living in a different country! I will surely make a few mistakes (no one’s perfect, right?) but I look forward to learning from them and using them to develop into a more mature rider and become an asset to the team. I have no doubt that it will be a challenging year, but I am more than up to rising to it. Bring on 2012!
What will be your role within the new team?
Since I am still only young and as this will be my first season in a professional outfit, I am going to be a project for the team. I will start out as a domestique in the team, providing support to the lead riders with the goal of the team being to provide me with an opportunity to reach my full potential in the sport in a fostering and professional environment. I hope to have strong summer racing here with the BikeExchange.com.au Dream Team at the NSW Grand Prix and Jayco Bay Criterium series leading up to the Australian National Championships in January and prove myself capable of supporting the team’s lead riders in as the team heads into the European Classics in March 2012.
Miffy will be one of the domestique riders on the Honda women's team next year. Photo ©
2011 Bart Hazen
What will be your goals next season?
My personal goals for 2012 are to be able to continue to support the BikeExchange.com.au Dream Team in their Australian campaign, to perform well at the Australian National Road Championships and be able to contribute to the results of the UCI Honda Team on the World Tour in Europe.
What will be your goals on long term as a person and as a cyclist?
Long term on the bike, I want to be able to continue to race at the highest level and to be a worthy representative of my country at the World Championships and Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games.
Off the bike, I hope to complete my University degree and be able to continue my involvement in the sport in some fashion whether it be through the media, management or through the medical and science fields.
It is going quite well with women’s cycling in Australia. Lauren Kitchen on Rabobank, you on Honda, Chloe Hosking on Specialized-Lululemon, the birth of the women’s GeenEdge team. Do you have an explanation for that?
You’re quite right, at the moment we are seeing a large number of female cyclists on UCI Professional teams. Whilst I honestly have no specific explanation for this, I am close friends with Lauren and Chloe and like many of the other girls concerned, you can attribute each of their selections and performances in these top teams to sheer hard work and determination. It is obvious that the Women’s cycling scene in Australia is building in strength each year with progressions such as a teams category in the National Road Series which is encouraging more women to compete at the top level domestically, increasing the numbers and depths of the fields and consequently increasing the level of performances Nationally.
I think the younger riders are also fortunate that the more experienced riders such as Rochelle Gilmore and Kate and Natalie Bates are more than happy to pass on their knowledge and assist women by playing a mentoring role to those who are aspiring to follow in their footsteps.
She had a very good ride in Dwars door de Westhoek in Belgium. Photo ©
2011 Bart Hazen
Recently there is a discussion/debate about a minimum wage for women cyclists. UCI president McQuaid stated that the sport don’t have the level yet. Vos, Teutenberg and Bronzini took offense and supported the idea. What are your thoughts? Or what needs to be changed to get this idea started.
Upon reading UCI president McQuaid’s assessment that women’s cycling has ‘not to developed enough’ for a minimum wage – I was not only appauled, but offended. To the Women competing in UCI teams, cycling is their profession and internationally – professions have minimum wages. For the president of the UCI to justify the lack of minimum salary by saying that it has ‘not developed enough’, you only need to look at the increasing number of teams registered with the UCI each year and the increase of not only numbers in the women’s fields but the strength and depth of them. By adopting a minimum wage for female cyclists, surely this could only benefit women’s cycling and ‘develop’ it further by enabling more women to dedicate more time and effort to training and racing as opposed to try and balance it with other commitments? Without getting too heated about the debate, let’s just say I find it hard to understand why men would deserve a minimum salary and women wouldn’t.
What is Miffy doing when not riding a bike?
When i’m not on the bike, back here in Australia I’m working 2 part-time jobs as a receptionist at Kingston Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Centre and Brazilian Butterfly Canberra City, as well as studying at University via distance education. Whilst this definitely keeps me busy, I am very fortunate enough to have employers who are very supportive of my cycling and don’t mind me trekking around the country for races! And whilst I am in Europe, I will be fortunate enough to be able to say that racing my bike for one of the World’s strongest professional teams is my only job so when I’m not riding, my spare time will be spent ensuring that I am doing everything necessary to get myself in the best condition possible for racing.
What do we have to know from you what most people don’t know?
That I am identical twin – most people get offended when they find out and I haven’t told them! Although she doesn’t cycle, she is a cheerleader, is studying full time at University and is going to be very successful at whatever she chooses to do – you’ve heard it here first!
Oh, and that I have a fear of looking up at tall objects…
It was her second year in Europe after the Australian summer came to an end. Photo ©
2011 Bart Hazen
What do you study? And what do you want to do after cycling?
I was originally enrolled in a bachelor of Science/Laws at the University of Canberra but transferred to a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science via distance education with Central Queensland University, enabling me to complete my studies whilst I am overseas. I enrolled in this particular degree with the ambitions of doing Physiotherapy however of the past year I have also developed a strong interest in media, management and marketing and hope to venture into these fields post cycling – which I hope isn’t any time too soon!
Final question. What is your motto? (possibly with explanation)
I’ve learnt that life is too short to be taken too seriously, and the best things that happen in life don’t always happen as a result of a plan so my motto (well, what has been over the past year) is – ‘why the hell not’ :)
Celebrating our tenth year!
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