Mo Bruno-Roy, vegan cyclist
Maureen (Mo) Bruno-Roy is a cyclocross cyclist who has competed at the elite level for many years. She began racing at that level in 2004 and has registered some impressive highlights.
In 2005 she finished third in the Elite Women’s National Championships and she also became National Champion in the 30-34 age category. The following year she was named in the US team for the World Championship. 2007 saw her regain her National title in the 30-34 category and she was 5th in the nationals.
In 2008 she retained her title in the 30-34 age category, and in 2009 she was the overall winner of the USA National Cyclocross Calendar.
Since then she has been a national team member again and has placed in top level international events including three fourth places. She finished 25th in the World Championships in 2010 in the Czech Republic and in 2011 she finished 18th at the Tabor World Cup. In 2013 she finished 7th in the elite nationals.
In 2015 she retained her title as Women's Single Speed Cyclocross Champion of USA (read more here).
“I've been lucky enough to have accomplished all of the goals I have set out to in cyclocross” she told us. “But I think my best moment was early on when I placed 3rd at the Elite Nationals and was selected to the US World's Team. Both accomplishments were a surprise and it's been a whirlwind since then. I am most proud of all of the work my husband Matt and I have been able to put in together as a team to run our own program and to keep our motivation and dedication.”
Mo works as a massage therapist and yoga instructor and has establishmed the cycling team MM Racing with husband Matt Roy.
Mo has been vegan since 2010 following twelve years as a vegetarian. She was raised on a small farm that included plant and animal farming which established her connection with the food she was eating. This caused Mo to question where other food came from and she developed an awareness of the more industrialised animal farming practices.
“When I moved from my parent's house in my college years, I chose to no longer eat foods that were not homemade or homegrown and luckily, I was taught how to cook very well! Meat was one of the first things to go. As I got older and more informed on the industrialization, ecological impact and animal welfare of food, I also chose to step away from all animal products and cultivate my compassion for animals and continue to educate myself as much as possible on the state of our current food supply so that I can also continue to understand the choices or lack or choices of others without judgment.”
Mo loves vegetables and has always enjoyed salands and steamed vegetables with rice, often with chickpeas, tempeh or tofu. “I also love roasted root vegetables, Brussels sprouts and kale chips. Some of my favourite foods are avocados, quinoa, sweet potatoes, kale, bananas, sunflower seeds, cashews and hummus.”
Mo’s first coach was a cyclist who was featured on this site until he discontinued veganism, Adam Myerson. Since then Mo has had two other coaches who trusted her judgement and research on.
“Most people that do have questions or concerns are mostly due to misinformation or lack of information regarding nutritional requirements such as protein or calcium. Again, I try to educate myself as much as possible and share that with them when they ask. Matt [Mo’s husband] is also a scientist and has been able to access some great articles on nutritional requirements of vegan athletes for me to be able to share some actual data.”
A future on wheels
As an established name in the sport, Mo is optimistic about the profile of the sport in the future. More people are participating in the sport in the US, and she’s pleased to see promoters recognising the women’s sport with issues such as equal prize money for women.
When we asked Mo about her involvement in the sport, she was in reflective mood, partly as it was less that 6 months since her friend Amy Dombroski was killed in a road accident while training.
“This past season was my 10th year racing cyclocross in the Elite category and it's been amazing to reflect on that number and see that I have accomplished more than I ever thought I would in the sport. I started doing it with friends in a women's club just for fun and it's turned out to be my second job and my catalyst for amazing adventures around the World, literally, for the better part of 8 years. Last season was especially tough after losing our dear friend Amy Dombroski and it really rocked me to reflect on the sport and all of the amazing people I've been so lucky to connect with because of cycling.”
In addition to competing, Mo is looking forward to working with husband Matt on his Ultra-Endurance cycling events.