Marianne Vos needs no introduction, even if this year was the first she has raced cyclocross in the U.S. since the 2013 World Championships in Louisville.
With seven world championships in cyclocross and three on the road, Vos is one of the greatest cyclists of all time. And at 31 years old, she has plenty of time to add more titles and cement her place as perhaps the greatest ever.
Despite her massive success, the last few cyclocross seasons have been tough for Vos. After missing the 2016 Worlds, she returned in 2016/17 and just missed out on a record eighth Worlds title after a last-lap dropped chain.
For the 2018 season, however, Vos has committed to a full schedule of cyclocross, going as far as skipping the UCI Road World Championship in Innsbruck in order to line up for the first two World Cup events in the United States. The trip paid off and she walked away with a win in Waterloo and a podium in Iowa City.
Vos' bike for the two U.S. World Cups was a Ridley X-Night SL Disc.
We took a closer look at her Ridley X-Night shortly after the very-muddy Jingle Cross World Cup for our latest bike profile.
Marianne Vos' Jingle Cross World Cup Ridley X-Night SL Disc
During her 2017 comeback, Vos and her team broke with longtime sponsor Giant, and she is now riding Ridley bikes with her WaowDeals Pro Cycling team (the current sponsor for the former Rabobank license). For the 2018 cyclocross season, she will be riding the Ridley X-Night SL Disc, which is the Belgian company’s top-level cyclocross bike.
Although Vos is one of the greatest ever, her setup for the two U.S. World Cups was still pretty modest. She traveled in a van and only had two of her X-Night bikes with her.
The carbon frame on her bikes has a green and black scheme, with the bright green matching her team's bright kits.
As a Shimano-sponsored rider, the majority of Vos' equipment comes from either the Japanese brand or its component subsidiary PRO. In Iowa City, Vos was riding a Dura-Ace R9170 Di2 groupset with the notable exception of oval-shaped Rotor Q Rings chain rings in a somewhat uncommon 46/38t configuration. Her crank was also equipped with a power meter from Pioneer, which features some of the most in-depth pedal stroke analytics available.
For stopping, Vos used Dura-Ace flat mount calipers but elected to use 140mm XTR RT-99 rotors rather than the heavier, but more vented, in-series option.
Vos' wheels were a set of Shimano carbon tubulars prototypes that we have previously seen on Eva Lechner's bike.
Like some of the other European riders, Vos runs Dugast tires. On the muddy afternoon in Iowa City, she ran the brand's Rhino in a 32mm width. While Dugast does produce a 33mm casing, many riders opt for slightly narrower 32mm casings from the Dutch brand.
As should be expected, the majority of Vos’s touch points are PRO-branded items. Her bike in Iowa City featured Vibe handlebars, Sport Control Team bar tape and a Vibe seatpost. Vos’s stem—which was turned upright and set low in the spacer stack—as well as her Cirrus Pro saddle were from Forza, Ridley’s house brand. Her pedals were a Shimano SPDs similar to the prototypes we saw Mathieu van der Poel use last year at Jingle Cross.
Based on how Vos is riding right now, with four podiums and two wins in four races, we are likely to see her Ridley X-Night SL Disc at the front of many more races this season. As the conditions turn cyclocrossy in Europe, it is also likely have a similar muddy feel to the Jingle Cross World Cup, although perhaps with a different texture than the thick, grassy Jingle mud found in Iowa City.
For more on Vos' Ridley X-Night, see the photo gallery and specs below.