Olivia Ray

Race Highlights

2021 Grant Park Criterium Champion
2021 Kiwi Criterium Champion
2021 South Chicago Kermesse Champion
2021 Tour of Lake Ellyn Champion
2021 Winfield Criterium Champion

Olivia Ray is easily among cycling’s most exciting new sprinters.

Her performances on the bike speak for themselves; she’s been hoarding wins on the track and in crits, including at New Zealand nats and Atlanta’s lucrative Grant Park Criterium. But off the bike, her candid, approachable persona has given us insight into her growth as a neopro, from feeling out the intricacies of mid-race fueling to dealing with body image issues (all-too common for cyclists), accepting the leader’s mantle, and learning how to wield a full team in a sprint finish.

Rally Cycling’s Olivia Ray recently took time to answer our light-hearted, off-topic Q&A in her typically amiable style.

What we learned: the tortoise has been lying to us all along, to always pack a friend as a carry-on, and that New Zealand’s fastest woman has a penchant for good views and new shoes. And her ultimate athletic ambition? Physically dominating the bingo table.

We kid, of course… kind of. Read on for the truth, straight from the sprinter herself.

What do you want to do after your racing career?

While I’m currently studying to get my BA in Advertising and Branding, I have a dream of owning my own gym and becoming a bodybuilder. It’s something that can be done well into older age, so why not get a head start on being the strongest lady at the bingo table?

What’s your favorite website?

Lululemon. 10’s of tabs open on items I know I’m not going to buy any time soon. It’s like online window shopping.

First Endurance really kicked my butt into fueling correctly on rides. I knew what I should’ve been eating and drinking, but I suppose I didn’t have the want to really make myself do it. But having FE products at my disposal – it’s easy!

 

MY NUTRITION PLAN


coming soon

Q&A


What has First Endurance helped you accomplish or overcome?

It’s really kicked my butt into fueling correctly on rides. I knew what I should’ve been eating and drinking, but I suppose I didn’t have the want to really make myself do it. But having FE products at my disposal – it’s easy!

What’s your favorite First Endurance product (and flavor) and why?

My favorite is the Sour Watermelon EFS-PRO. It tastes so good, and makes hot, sweaty rides in GA much easier!

What’s your favorite race to ride? And/or to watch?

I love Spartanburg crit in Speed Week. That’s just such a fun course. But I love watching the men’s Tour de France! It’s such a test of will, strength and ability!

What’s the most embarrassing music you listen to?

Pussycat Dolls… Will always make me want to be a pop star.

What was the first concert you ever went to and who were you with?

I went to see Blondie with my mum. The stadium was full of older people, but having been educated in lots of older singers and bands, I was having the time of my life.

What’s your favorite place in the world (and why)?

On top of Mt Eden, it’s a mountain in Auckland, NZ, where I’m from. A 365° view of the entire city. It’s very nostalgic.

Do you have any special pre-race rituals?

I used to. Funny things like music or a Red Bull. But as I’ve grown and moved around and haven’t had the same controlled variables, my one ritual before a race is to chill. My head, the nerves may be there, but if I can calm myself and race my own race, I’ve got it.

What sport are you the worst at?

Most ball sports! Not very good at catching! I’d say I’m the worst at basketball. Short with not the best catching skills is a bit of an issue.

What’s your favorite movie and why?

Captain Phillips. I cry every time, and I’ve watched it many, many times! It’s got love, sadness, death, drama, pirates – everything you could want!

How did you get started in the sport?

My brother started riding bikes when I was 8 or 9 and I really wanted to do it. Be like him, have the big, muscly legs.

Who’s your favorite professional athlete and why?

Valerie Adams, New Zealand shot putter. Olympian, inspiration. She’s had a child, got an education and still manages to score Olympic medals!

What’s been the highlight of your racing career?

In terms of title, I would say NZ Criterium champs. But I’m not done. I have a long way to go in my career, and every race is a better one than the last.

What’s the worst advice you’ve ever gotten?

Slow and steady wins the race. No, best sprinter wins the race haha.

If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?

I’d want to have my best friend, does she count as an item? Maybe a pet, like a dog or a kangaroo.

If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose and why?

Flying. The freedom of being able to fly excites me – just imagine the views! The places you’d get to!

What’s the first thing you’d do if you won $50 million in the lottery?

Throw all my clothes away and buy new EVERYTHING! Think of the shoes!

What word do you hate?

Weak. It makes me mad.

What’s your favorite website?

Lululemon. 10’s of tabs open on items I know I’m not going to buy any time soon. It’s like online window shopping.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A ballerina, or dancer. But, towards the end of my childhood, I wanted to be like my brother. A cyclist.

Have you ever been fired? If so, what did you do?

Never… I don’t think I’ve ever had a job long enough nor been in one place for long enough to show a boss how bad I am at taking food orders!

Describe your first bike.

A white and purple rental of a very old Specialized. It was everything I needed to feel the way I feel today on my bike.

Describe the perfect ride in five words.

Warm, beach, croissant, beautiful, company.

What do you want to do after your racing career?

While I’m currently studying to get my BA in Advertising and Branding, I have a dream of owning my own gym and becoming a bodybuilder. It’s something that can be done well into older age, so why not get a head start on being the strongest lady at the bingo table?