Spot Chat: Gruff Lewis (Madison Genesis)


In the 2017 team for Madison Genesis, Gruff Lewis is back to cyclo-cross after his season on the road on a new bike

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Spot Chat: Gruff Lewis (Madison Genesis)

Last weekend in Abergavenny, as he pinned numbers on ready to race the Welsh league event, VeloUK got a few minutes with Welsh rider Gruff Lewis who is one of the riders in the Madison Genesis 2017 line up.


Leaning up against the Madison Genesis van was a shiny new bike from Genesis which Gruff is using in the Welsh Cyclo-Cross league. It is the Vapour 30, a redesigned frame for 2017 looking all very modern with its disc brakes and racy geometry.

Genesis have raised the bottom bracket on the bike as well as change the geometry to make it more suitable for ‘cross with a more sloping head tube and longer wheelbase. The bike also boasts bolt-thru axles at both ends as well as a tapered, full carbon fork up front for a stiff and confident ride.

Attached to the frame is a Shimano Ultegra groupset with hydraulic brakes and a double chain ring set chained to a 11 speed cassette at the back. There was no doubt that Gruff was enjoying having this brand new bike under him in the cross races. “I love the bike” was the first reaction.

There are good reasons for that as he went on to explain. “For me, this bike makes cross easier. The braking is brilliant with no fading and the same constant stopping power whatever the conditions.”




Gruff added that with canti brakes, in the past he had to take a few risks which isn’t ideal for a rider not wanting to compromise his road season so the new discs take the pressure off having to do that and make the whole experience more fun.

“It’s light too” he added. “When you are having to shoulder the bike over hurdles and so on, you are wasting less energy if the bike is light”. Gruff’s bike is the top of the range one but there are others like one with Shimano 105/ Tiagra and also an aluminium version with either Shimano Tiagra or Shimano Sora. We understand there is a frame only versions for those wanting to customise it with their own equipment.

The new bike has been good to Gruff and he’s done it proud as well with three podium places in the Welsh Cyclo-Cross league. “The nice thing about ‘cross is you get to see the progression like when I started I was getting top 20, then top 15, then top 10 and now constantly on the podium!”

The cyclo-cross however is a distraction from the day job during most of the year and that is the road. Whilst most, if not all his teammates were on a beach somewhere having an end of season break, Gruff was riding cyclo-cross. Why I asked!

“I didn’t ride the Tour of Britain so had an easier September than a lot of guys so had more motivation to do ‘cross where as others wouldn’t be. I tend to go quite well from the start of the season and I think that’s down to being a generally fit person My weight doesn’t fluctuate much and I keep a good level of fitness through the winter.”

In 2016, he moved across to Madison Genesis from Pedal Heaven and when asked did that move go well he replied quick as a flash “I have had a great year with Madison Genesis, it’s a great team.”


Gruff in the break on stage 2 of the Tour of Yorkshire and with bonuses, he was the leading Brit on GC

“The infrastructure from management behind closed doors to the mechanics, soigneurs and the riders, it’s fantastic. We are not left wanting for anything. I have really enjoyed my year and had my best year on the road. Except for the Tour of Britain, I raced every race.”

Finally, when asked for highlights, he replied “To get on a podium of a UCI race (Cicle Classic) was something I knew I was a capable of in years to come and I came into the season in good form. The training camps did me a lot of good, around having experienced riders in the team like Alex Blain and Erick Rowsell around me, seeing how things are done right, brushes off on you and you get used to doing things that way naturally.”

“I think the crowds in Yorkshire and wearing the leading British rider’s jersey (post stage 2), that was really cool and a highlight but a highlight result has to be the Cicle Classic (he was 2nd) because Spring races, the Belgium classics and that, are things that motivate me over the winter and the Cicle Classic is the closest we get to that and it’s a favourite race of mine”.


On the podium after second in the CiCLE Classic.

No doubt the cyclo-cross helped Gruff in that great result and we wish him luck for the rest of the winter and the 2017 road season with Madison Genesis




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