Luke first sat on a bike aged 3. It wasn’t long before Luke’s legs were long enough to reach the pedals on the back of a Tandem (with ‘kiddy cranks’ on), which was the green light for father Courtney to buy the family two Tandems.
Luke and Courtney would ride one, while mother Alyson, and brother Matt would ride on the other. Every weekend, the two tandems would set off to ride the roads of South Wales, with the occasional venture further afield, including trips to the Tour de France in 1998 and Paris Roubaix in 2000.
With Courtney as coach, Luke progressed through various UK clubs and teams in the UK, namely; Cardiff Ajax CC, Maindy Flyers, Glendene CC, Recycling.co.uk and Rapha Condor where he won European and National titles on the track and road. Luke was then selected for the British Cycling Academy, based in Quaratta, Italy under the careful watch of Max Sciandri.
Luke spent the next 3 years on the Academy, where he learnt his trade and picked up a true insight in to life as a full time bike rider. On the Academy, Luke was fortunate to be coached by a number of the world’s top coaches, using the most effective training techniques known in the sport. During these years, Luke won a number of U23 UCI Races, whilst continuing to develop in to an all round stronger and faster athlete.
1st January 2012 marked Luke turning Professional with Team Sky. As a ‘Neo Pro’ (first year professional), Luke was largely on domestique duties in the racing, however in training, he trained like the worlds best. Luke’s continual improvement throughout the season, took him to the top step of the podium at the 2012 Tour of Britain, where he took the Stage 1 win and held the yellow jersey.
More recently with Team Sky and now Team Ineos, Luke has been Road Captain, leading Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal to their Tour de France victories. Luke has also placed 8th in Paris Roubaix, 5th Flanders and made the Podium in Het Nieuwsblaad, where he has cemented his position in the sport as one of the worlds best classics riders and lead out men.
Check out Luke Rowe’s Team Sky Profile
Who inspired you to start cycling?
My dad used to race so I took after him. My parents and grandparents have cycled all their lives.
A purple peugeot which my dad put single free on – I guess it would have been a 70″ gear.
First cycling club?
Cardiff Ajax Cycling Club.
Laurent Jalabert because he was always aggressive and had a go. If he didn’t win, he’d go again the next day.
What do you love most about cycling?
It’s my passion – my perfect job! Even if I wasn’t getting paid I’d still ride a bike as much as I could.
What has cycling taught you?
Travelling the world makes you more rounded and cycling teaches you a lot of respect.
What keeps you going when you’re on the limit?
You can’t panic – you have to relax and find your own rhythm, take your brain out and battle on.
I like any of the brutal Cobbled Classics, like Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.
Highlight of your career?
Roubaix every year is always awesome – I love that race. Finishing 8th in 2015 was probably my highlight to date.
Supporting G to win Le Tour was also pretty special.
If you were not a bike rider, what would you be?
Army or the Fire Service.
Interesting fact about you?
I can drink a pint of beer in 3.2 seconds.
First bike race?
A circuit race which ran around a Steel works in Newport, South Wales. I got round.
If I am ever number 13 in a race, I will turn one number upside down.
In the season, a nice pasta dish with plenty of olive oil. Out of the season, a curry!
If you were stuck on a desert island, what three items would you wish for?
A bottle of water, a big bar of chocolate and my phone so I could call for a lift home.
What would a perfect day look like?
A day with my son, Oliver.
Most famous person you have met?
Donald Duck in Disneyland.