Rochelle discusses with Total Women’s Cycling her highs and lows—and explains how the team ethos at Wiggle High5 is all about letting people in and giving back to the sport.
Words: Hannah Troop
As I stand, shake hands, and thank Rochelle Gilmore for her time—to the backdrop of one of Chantilly’s finest châteaux—a realisation sets in; my pre-conceived ideas of her have been dismantled. Preparing for an interview involves the standard character research—this is essential—but with this a perception is formed. To maintain an emotional blank canvas and only develop a black and white persona is against human instinct. We naturally like to add colour. Maybe a more vibrant shade if the character is perceived intense; pastel if considered phlegmatic. For the record, the former were my initial thoughts, her achievements and inexhaustibility to keep setting new goals is somewhat intimidating.
From an early age, sport has been her world; it seems to define her very being and every decision made. She explains the competitive advantage of sibling rivalry: “From a young age I wanted to beat my two older brothers. I wanted to be the best I could be at everything I did, I wanted to win everything.”
From four years old she was competing against and beating boys in BMX races. By her teens the vision of becoming an Olympian and representing Australia was a crystal clear goal. Gilmore tells me: “When you’re athletic, it’s the pinnacle, you aspire to be winning at the top level and that develops at a young age watching the Olympics on television.”
Racing against boys is a boisterous environment, but one that gives great preparation for the sprint, as Gilmore explains her love for this part of the sport she says: “Winning—it was all about the sprint, it’s such an adrenaline rush, being so close to people to get your tyre in front is an incredible feeling.”