Event: Individual Time Trial, Road race
Olympic History: Tokyo debutant
Coach: Felicity Wardlaw
Year Born: 1992
Born: Camperdown, VIC
Originally a cross-country and middle-to-long-distance runner, Grace Brown began her cycling career just six years ago, with her first race at the Australian Championships in 2016 when she was 23-years old.
Her switch from running to cycling came more out of necessity, hampered by stress fractures and various injuries she decided to take up bike riding as it was less impact on her body.
She joined a local riding club in Melbourne as a way of socialising and meeting other riders, but it didn't take long for her competitive nature to kick in.
Fast forward to 2021 and Grace is on track for an Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.
Although she still considers herself a newbie of the sport, everyone else saw this type of success coming, as Brown climbed into the World Tour ranks in 2019 and immediately impressed claiming gold in the Australian Time Trial Championship that year and winning Stage 3 of the Santos Tour Down Under.
In 2020 she enjoyed her first European victory with a win in the Brabantse Pijl in Belgium and placing second in the Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
In February of 2021, she took silver in the Australian Time Trial Championship to Tokyo teammate Sarah Gigante, before another silver three days later in the Australian Road Race Championship to fellow Team BikeExchange member, Sarah Roy.
Overseas and she enjoyed her first UCI World Tour win in the (159km) Brugge-De Panne in Belgium in April.
“I’m in shock really, because the first half of the race I didn’t feel like I was racing very well, but then I managed to get into the echelon. I was the only one of our team in that group and all the other top sprinters were there, so I knew that if I was going to have any chance I’d have to attack at some point. So I gave it a go, I didn’t think I’d pull it off, but I did!”
She followed it up with a third in the Ronde van Vlaanderen race over 152km.
“You can’t be disappointed with a podium at Flanders. Of course, I came here wanting to win it, but I am really happy with third," she said.