Bruce Sandell, Rouleur Magazine

Bruce Sandell, Rouleur Magazine

Throughout the  Profile Series we explore the lives of some inspirational Londoners and dig a little deeper into the stories behind their success. From DJs, to Special Forces Operatives, to Olympians, each of the interviewees have one thing in common; a love of London Town and being on two wheels.

Bruce is the Managing Director of Gruppo Media, publishers of Rouleur Magazine, its accompanying online store and the recently launched exhibition, Rouleur Classic.

How would you describe the essence of Rouleur?

Rouleur is the world’s finest road cycling journal, for the most discerning rider. Rouleur was founded in 2006 and has an unrivalled reputation in the world of road cycling, among professional and amateur bike riders alike. Uniquely, Rouleur focuses specifically on professional cycle sport and the personalities, places and brands associated with this remarkable world, commissioning the finest photographers and writers to unearth and convey compelling stories in every issue. Impeccably presented and designed, it is printed on the finest grade paper and published eight times a year. 

The printed publication is complemented by a website companion, Rouleur Retail online, where we curate exclusive cycling products, and now the Rouleur Classic - an exclusive, intimately curated celebration of the very best in road cycling.

An understatedly styled John Smedley x Rouleur collaboration has recently been released. How would you describe your own personal style?

Outside of my family, my life revolves around music, cycling and style. I have been wearing and collecting John Smedley for many years now, so it is a great honour for us to have created this exclusive collaboration. In terms of personal style, I think Paul Weller summed it up well, "once a Mod, always a Mod, they will bury me a Mod".

Your grandfather owned a chain of bike shops, so it seems fitting that your publishing career has led you to cycling. Which cycling story would you most like to be given the access to write?

I still get the buzz and shiver down the spine when I enter a bike shop – that I did through my family’s chain of shops as a child. It is a combination of the smell and all the desirable bicycles, clothing and accessories. I have been very fortunate over my career to work in areas I am passionate about. I would like to recreate The Style Council’s ‘My Ever Changing Moods’ video, where Paul Weller was on a road bike in vintage kit with Mick Talbot – with me, Paul Weller and Bradley Wiggins. That would tick all the boxes.

Your publishing CV includes everything from music (NME, Uncut, Muzik), men’s magazines (Loaded, Maxim) and even the paranormal (Fortean Times).  What’s the strangest story you’ve ever published?

Rouleur always goes the extra mile in finding stories that show the colour and history of cycle racing. A few years back we ran a story on Fritz Gallati – who was the first professional to be stripped of his licence and banned from racing for doping offences in a scandal that rocked Switzerland in 1961. We unravelled the plot behind the former Six-Day rider’s story while Fritz, now a performing clown - applied the greasepaint. 

With a 3:10 marathon under your belt, frequent appearances in cyclocross races and regular road club rides you clearly keep yourself active. Which gives you more satisfaction; beating the clock, the terrain or your mates?

I will use a phrase from Dave Brailsford here – to ‘be the best I can be’. Marathon running takes great commitment to do it well, I am in month 3 of a 6 month training plan currently – according to my coach I have the best training base I have ever had going into Christmas, I just want a lie down. The greatest satisfaction comes from putting all the hard work in and delivering on your plan.

You’ve just staged the inaugural Rouleur Classic cycling exhibition, which brought a high-quality members club feel to a cycling show. What was the moment you thought, “We’ve got this right”?

When I walked in on the Wednesday before we opened and saw all the fantastic staff from my team and our partners Telegraph Events working so hard to deliver my vision for the show. What made the event so very special was the attention to detail from everyone involved. We delivered a new type of bicycle show, that raised the bar in terms of customers and exhibitor experience – the response from all of our customers has been overwhelmingly positive.

Eddy Merckx interviewed at the Rouleur Classic

Quick fire:

  • What was your first bike?  Raleigh Tomahawk, even then - I was obsessed with N+1 – and had my eye on my next bike.
  • Which bikes do you ride now?  Condor Squadra Road Bike, Kinesis Pro 6 Cyclo Cross, Tifosi Winter Road Bike, Giant Alliance TT Bike and my most used - is my trusty Brompton which gets me around London every day.
  • What’s the most memorable ride you’ve ever done?  My club Southborough Wheelers annual trip to the Alps - great company, amazing historic climbs, superb and challenging riding. What more could you want?
  • Which Velominati rule are you most guilty of breaking?  ‘Rule #87//The Ride Starts on Time. No exceptions'. I have been known to break, then spent an hour chasing the club ride down. Need to OBEY THE RULES at all times.
  • If money were no object, what would you buy for yourself?  Well my friends and Windwave, Colnago and Campagnolo are helping me to make that happen next year – with a Colnago C60 in my cycling club colours, with Campagnolo Super Record and Boras. That will be my present to myself post London Marathon…….so I have better get back to the training.