For Immediate Release
Vicky Sama, JAM Fund Media Coordinator
Above photo by Vic Geerlings
Ellen Noble is back in the U.S. after her second stint racing World Cup Cyclocross in Belgium. On this most recent trip, she spent nine days in The Netherlands, practiced the Zolder race course on Christmas and then raced the next day. It was one of the crazier starts of the year.
"The woman behind me had her front wheel dangerously close to my left foot, and my front wheel was within centimeters of another woman's derailleur," Noble said.
All of a sudden the traffic light turned green for the left side of the start line and they took off while the rest of the women were standing in shock that their traffic light was still red. The officials stopped the race and restarted it. Then things got even nuttier.
"On the second lap, my rear cantilever brake detached after a women ran into the back of my bike," Noble said. "I was unable to reattach it, so I was forced to ride the steep drop with only my front brake. My front Avid Shorty Ultimate slowed me down enough so I didn't crash on the steep, muddy drop."
Despite one of her rougher experiences, Noble had amazing finishes in her previous three World Cup races. She finished 12th at Flandriencross and 14th at Koksijde in November, which qualified her for the World Cup Championships to be held on the same race course in Zolder in late January. The weekend before Christmas, she got 18th at Namur.
"I am so excited to achieve a top-20 at World Cup, especially one I have been eyeing for so long," she said after the Namur race. "So thankful for the opportunity to be here and the support that's made my job so easy."
Noble now focuses on the U23 Cyclocross National Championships in Asheville on Jan. 9. After that, she returns to Belgium to race U23 at Worlds.