The next time you’re about to make excuses consider this: Ellen Van Loy, ranked sixth in the world, works a full-time job helping people with Down’s Syndrome, and took a bunch of her vacation just to make the race in China. Squeezing in training and racing in her spare time, she won the UCI’s season-opening cyclocross race, the Qiansen Trophy Race, held in China on August 30.
The former volleyball player only started cycling seven years ago, at the age of 27. She has enjoyed a fast rise to the top, achieving impressive results including 9th and 12th place finishes at the World Championships in 2013 and 2014, and a fifth and two second place finishes at the Belgian National Championships in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Van Loy will be returning for the 2014 season to ride with the Telenet Fidea Cycling Team. Cyclocross Magazine caught up with Van Loy while in China to take a few close-ups of her and her winning Ridley X-Night.
The 2015 X-Night Van Loy rides is Ridley’s top-of-the-line cyclocross bike, which is offered in either cantilever or disc brake configurations. In Van Loy’s case, as with many fellow Europeans, traditional cantilever brakes were the stopping component of choice. Van Loy opts for the Avid Shorty Ultimate brakes, run low-profile both front and rear to prioritize stopping power over mud clearance.
Van Loy’s X-Night features SRAM’s 11-speed CX1 group with a 40-tooth X-Sync wide/narrow chainring. Out back, Van Loy opted for an 11-32 SRAM Force cassette. Internal cable routing keeps the bike clean in appearance while subtle hints of Van Loy’s squad colors add accents to the mostly black frame. Yellow striping on the tubes is minimal and a splash of blue on the SRAM Force CX1 Type 2 roller clutch rear derailleur adds a little bit of style.
Edco 58mm Oseous wheels are matched to Challenge Chicane tires and Avid Ultimate cantilever brakes provide the modulation. The Telenet-Fidea team does not have a tire sponsor, so riders are free to choose, and buy, the tires of their choice. Van Loy had standard Challenge Chicane tubulars, not the Team Edition versions, but admitted to having a connection so she doesn’t have to buy them at full retail. The wood relief on Van Loy’s carbon rear wheel is something we don’t see all that often, but interesting nonetheless.
Finishing off the bike is a Fizik Arione Donna saddle and Shimano XT M780 pedals.
Ellen Van Loy’s Ridley X-Night Highlights:
Frame: Ridley X-Night
Shifters: SRAM Force 11-Speed, CX1
Front Derailleur: N/A
Rear Derailleur: SRAM CX1 Type 2 Derailleur
Cranks: SRAM CX1, 40t X-Sync chainring
Pedals: Shimano XT
Wheels: Edco Oseous 58mm
Tires: Challenge Chicane 33mm tubular
Brakes: Avid Ultimate
Saddle: Fizik Arione Donna
Ellen Van Loy’s Ridley X-Night Cyclocross Bike Photo Gallery: