COFFEE WITH… Robyn de Groot

We sat down with Robyn de Groot, former pro mountain biker to chat life, cycling and retirement.


If you’ve ever spent time riding in or around George, at some point you will have been smoked by two of the happiest faces on bikes: regular visitor from Germany, former World Champion and Olympic gold medallist Sabine Spitz, and SA’s own Robyn de Groot, six-time national XCM champion, Olympian and with a third at Worlds. Happily retired from the racing aspect, De Groot still rides – a lot!

“I raced bikes professionally for 16 years; first on the road, and then I had my best years mountain biking. I retired after my final Cape Epic in 2022. The day I received the request from World Champion Pauline Ferrand Prevot to do the Cape Epic with her was the same day I’d decided to retire from professional racing; so it was great timing for one last dance. It was such a positive experience, and the perfect one to wrap up with.

Even though I’m not racing anymore, riding is still a huge part of my lifestyle.

It’s not easy to retire, as a professional athlete… “Even though I’m not racing anymore, riding is still a huge part of my lifestyle. I love being outdoors, in nature, and immersed in the beautiful places you can explore on a mountain bike. It’s a great way to keep fit and healthy – I’m never sorry after coming back from a bike ride.

“THRIVE is my coaching business, which keeps me busy, stimulated and growing as I help others strive to achieve their personal objectives and goals. I thoroughly enjoy this new side and way of life, and I’m passionate to share with and grow others.”

Ex-pro cyclist Robyn de Groot having a coffeeI take my coffee as a cappuccino, with oat or macadamia milk.

I’d love to go on a ride with my little niece, Jupiter!

The secret to happiness for me, often, is focusing on the simple things.

My greatest exhilaration was climbing the Dolomites, in Italy.

I fear anything happening to any of the people I love.

A moment of pure clarity for me was just before going in for vascular surgery. I knew the risks, and I needed to be at absolute peace with where I was. It was an incredible feeling, to have lived as I wanted to
live and said what I wanted to say to the people I care about.

Passion… Follow your passion, and success will come naturally.

When I wake up I give thanks, and admire the rising sun and all I have to be grateful for.

I rage against people leaving the world worse off than they found it.

I wish we would all be more mindful of our footprints on this planet.

A Coffee With Namibian Cycling Star Vera Looser

READ MORE ON: interview People Robyn de Groot

Copyright © 2024 Hearst