Meet cyclist Brayden Bloch, our first Clint Ballard Team Young Achiever

To kick off our new Young Achievers program, the Clint Ballard Team spent a morning recently chatting with young cyclist Brayden Bloch. Brayden is a fifteen year old cyclist from Matraville who has already excelled in the highest level of the under-17 boys’ cycling at a state and national level. As a fellow cyclist, Paul Ephron was especially keen to hear about Brayden's dedication to the sport. We talked to Brayden about his impressive level of preparation, as well as his future ambitions.
Paul Ephron and Brayden Bloch

How did you get into cycling? Do you remember learning how to ride a bike?

I was two years old when I started riding and I was standing up on my frame when I was three. I don’t really remember learning how to ride, but when I was six, I rode in my first charity race in Centennial Park and I did pretty well for my age.

What does your routine look like now?

I’m riding 5 days a week, 3 sessions at the gym. About 12-15 hours a week of riding with extra gym sessions sometimes.

Does your whole family cycle?

Just my dad and I. Dad has raced for thirty years, and went to the Olympics for South Africa and I’d love to push myself to get to his level. I’ve watched him race my whole life. I just always wanted to be as good as him, or better, and that’s what’s kept me going. It’s pretty cool to start to ride and race with him now, sometimes even beat him on hills. My uncle watched my dad race at the Olympics and was inspired like me, and managed to go to the Olympics in 2000.

What are working towards right now?

There’s a State Championships that’s coming up, I’m aiming to win the Individual Pursuit, which is 2km. After that, I want to win the same event at Nationals.

Tell us about the Individual Pursuit as a race?

It’s more of a pace yourself race, rather than just a sprint flat out. You do twelve laps around the track, against the clock, on your own. You pace yourself and see how far you can go.

How are you training for these races? Are there steps involved?

A typical training day I get up at 5am and ride until 7am. I go to school from 8.30-3.35pm, then I take a bus to my dad’s office to the velodrome and ride from 5.30-7.30pm.

Have you run into any challenges?

It’s always a struggle to wake up at 5am, and then after school to be training rather than doing assignments. Sometimes I don’t go out with my friends because I need to get up early. I guess it’s taken away some of my teenage life, like parties and that kind of thing.

My school is supportive and helpful, I’ve had to apply for time off to go to races. My friends at school probably think I’m crazy for waking up at 5am but they’re supportive of my cycling even if they don’t understand it fully. I’m not sure if they believe me when I say I go for a 100km ride!

What’s been your biggest achievement to date?

The team time trial this year at the state championships. You had to do a 16km race as a team, going around a 2km track and we won. For me, I couldn’t really believe what I’d just won. I’d been preparing mentally for the time trial for a long time and it didn’t really seem real in the moment. Because I’m in my first year of under-17, it was just so big for me to win that.

Another big moment was the individual time trial on the road, I came fifth in the under-17 at State Championships. It was my first year and I was competing against a lot of people in their second year racing in that division. Last year I was fourth in the under-15 at the State Championships.

Can you tell us about the mental preparation you did for the race?

My coach told me to do a lot of visualisation, he thinks 80% is in your head and 20% is in your legs. When it came to the day, I knew exactly what was going to happen and I had in my head how I was going to achieve it. I think that’s part of how we came to win.

About a week before a race, I wrote out what the race is going to be like. Every night and in every spare moment, even at school, I just keep reading it over and over to get it into my head. In this case, when I turn up on race day, my legs are feeling awesome. I get to the start line and I think ‘I can win this thing.’ During the race, it all comes naturally and when I see the finish line coming up, I dig as deep as I can to push forward.

What’s your ultimate goal in cycling?

In the future, I would probably be to ride the Tour de France. It won’t happen soon but hopefully eventually it will. To me, the Tour de France represents that you’re one of the best cyclists in the world, and if you could get to that level, I just think it’d be an incredible feeling. I really want to do that one day.

What kind of gear and equipment do you use?

As a junior, we aren’t allowed carbon wheels when we’re racing. Carbon wheels are lighter and the reason we can’t have them is that some kids can’t afford them and it makes it unfair.

My bike I ride is an XR3 Bianchi, it’s a carbon bike which I love. I was down in Bright, Victoria going up a hill and it almost felt like I was going up a hill. There are gearing restrictions from under-9s to under-23s because it can injure you pretty badly.

When I got my Bianchi, they were having a really big sale. I was so excited to see how much of a discount it had, so I could get it and I just wanted to ride it straight away.

If you weren’t into cycling, what would you be interested in?

Probably soccer and cricket, I love both and had to stop because it got in the way of my cycling training.

What advice would you give someone younger than you who wanted to follow your path?

I’d tell them that you’d have to mentally figure out what you want, and believe you can. Once you believe you can, you’re really halfway there. You’ve got to train and keep thinking to yourself about what you can achieve by doing this training. If you think that, you’ll think bigger, it’ll help with all the training.


The Young Achievers is a new program at Ballard Property focusing on up and coming young talents in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. We believe that achievement comes with dedication and hard work, but also with the support of a community. With this in mind, we are looking to support a few talented young people with achieving their dreams. We’d also like to provide them with a platform to discuss what they are setting out to do, and hopefully give them some exposure and position them as role models for other young people.