Ellen Van Dijk
She started speed skating at 5, which may sound sort-of extreme to people from any other country but the Netherlands. But for Dutch kids, it’s pretty run-of-the-mill. When she was about ten years old, she started cross training on the bike and by age fifteen, she’d done her first national race.
It wasn’t until the Junior World Championships in 2004 that she first started to believe in herself. The course had a big climb and she doesn’t fancy herself much of a climber. She thought she wouldn’t do anything at all except maybe just stay with the pack to the end. But she ended up taking home a bronze medal that day.
She is a developing young rider with a lot of potential and a lot of power. Last year she won the Tour of Qatar and a stage of the Holland Ladies Tour. This year she’ll be focusing on the Olympic time trial and the team pursuit on the track. Plus, the World Championship TTT in the Netherlands.
|Born||11th February 1987|
|Strengths on Bike||Time Trials, Flat races|
|Winner of Sparkassen Giro 2010|
|Two time World Cup Champion, Copenhagen WC 2009|
|1st place - Best Young Rider Classification Qatar 2009|
|World champion in the Scratch Race 2008|
|European champion 23 time trial 2008|
|European champion 23 scratch & points race 2008|
|National champion individual pursuit & time trial 2007|
|3rd World Championships juniors road 2005|
A Ride with Specialized Lululemon 2013-Blog by Ellen Van DijkJanuary 5, 2013
The first training camp for the new season is behind us. I had a great time with all the staff, sponsors, media, Specialized dealers and of course with my teammates. We made a lot of hours on the bike and riding together is one of the best ways to get to know your teammates. Let me take you on a training ride with my teammates so you also can get to know them a bit better.
In 2013 the team has an American license, which means most of the riders are from the States. And that is pretty AWESOME. AMAZING. FANTASTIC. And FABULOUS! I love to be around my chatty US teammates, but timing is crucial; their stories might not interest me that much anymore after 4 hours when I’m suffering like a dog on a hill. Therefore my tactic is to start a long ride next to one of them. You’ll be ensured from great entertainment with their endless stories and before you know it you’ve ridden for 3 hours.
Ally is a great one to start with. She always has the greatest stories, ranging from rock climbing to hunting adventures. About juicing, making her own bars (they are awesome!), or just about ‘one of her friends’ (she has a lot). My conversations with Evie have a bit of a different character most of the time. She loves Dutch words and her favourite is ‘swaffelen’. You can google the meaning, in case you’re interested (18+). One of her biggest wishes is to once go to the ‘National Swaffel Day’ in the Netherlands. Evie and I are teammates already for 4 years and all this time I thought it would be hard to find somebody who can talk more than she does. Until I met Carmen. Carmen has been a math teacher, and has a broad interest in anything you can possibly talk about. You’ll hear her always talking somewhere in the background on the ride and just when you think there really is nothing more to say about a certain subject, she will go on.. ‘And so…’
Our other new recruit Tayler, isn’t very typical American in my eyes. She doesn’t say as much ‘amazing’ as the rest of the American crew. I had the pleasure to room with her and that was very ‘nice’ as we would both say. Gillian, our Canadian Olympic track medallist on the other end is ‘totally’ American. Her ‘hippy’ hair and her happy way of talking might reveal that she actually lives most of the time in LA.
Back to the Euro’s. Katie (or ‘Duckie’ as her grandma calls her) is well known for her British accent. Every second sentence she says is repeated by someone in the team cause it sounds so funny. Katies favourite subject to talk about is her next off season holiday; ‘I just love holidays!’ Our German professional photographer Trixi isn’t a woman of a lot of words. But when she says something, you better listen, cause it will be something good. Trixi is my ‘best ever’ partner in crime when making fun of the Americans.
Lisa, our other German could only join us for a couple of days because she is part of the German army and had to join them for a month. Lisa is one of the sweetest girls from the team and to picture her ‘shooting people’ is just hilarious. She moves to the Netherlands next month to live together with her Dutch boyfriend and speaks fluent Dutch which makes me very happy. Our third German, Ina, unfortunately didn’t join us this camp, but I think she doesn’t need a lot of introduction. Being my teammate already for the fifth year I almost have no clue what to do when she won’t be my teammate anymore one day.
And than we have our Aussies. Loren, my half Dutch ‘sister’ made sure we’ll have some good music to sing with during our rides. She’ll put the beats out of her phone speakers in her back pocket. Her phone was a present from her ‘handsome and single brother’ Jered, who she advertised every day to another one of her teammates. She must like us a lot.
You might think these are all the riders for next year, but hold on. Let me introduce the Specialized-lululemon joker for 2013; our chameleon Beth. Beth must have been Kristy’s best deal when signing contracts. Originally she was hired as a physiotherapist, but this year she’ll also direct some races and at training camp she rode every training ride with us. Of which I first thought it made us look kind of like a couple of amateurs, but than I realised she is just an amazing athlete. Next week the Australian nationals are on and although Miss ‘No I’m not gonna do it!’ said she is not gonna do it, I do have my doubts about that. A physiotherapist in the national jersey; that would be pretty AWESOME, wouldn’t it?
First & Third in Lotto Decca – A blog by Ellen Van DijkAugust 28, 2012
The end of the season is approaching. Usually the world championships in September are the highlight of the season, which means the moral is always building up towards the end of the season. But in this Olympic year it’s a bit different. Because almost everyone in our team did compete at the Olympics we all seem to have an excuse why we might not be in top shape at the moment.
The lazy part of the team took a short holiday after the Olympics; they still try to recover from the party’s and ride the red wine out of their blood. The tough part of the team raced in route de France; they still try to recover from the ten-day stage race, which started two (!) days after the Olympic road race.
Therefore our Belgium weekend with three days of racing started pretty relaxed. Conversations at the dinner table were more about beach trips and holidays than actual race-related. Ronny also didn’t seem to mind the relaxed atmosphere, although he might have been a bit offended by the fact that he isn’t invited yet for a beach trip.
But as chilled out as we were at the dinner table, we were fired up in the race. Cause once we jump on our Amira’s, the race is on!
Unfortunately there wasn’t enough wind to split the field in the first two stages and they both ended in a bunch sprint. Both days the team did a fantastic leadout, and we could gather a podiumspot twice. Today the course was different and with 4x the famous ‘Muur van Geraardsbergen’ (2x paved site, 2x cobbled site) we knew it wasn’t going to be a bunch sprint. While the first two stages might have been a bit boring, today definitely wasn’t. Chloe who had “such shit legs” was in a 12 rider break from the very start. Maybe her legs were not as bad as she thought, cause when the break was caught in the last 10km of the race, she still managed to follow up attacks from Katie, Emilia and Lisa.
The small bunch that was left had to follow the one lululemon attack after the other. In the end it was Liesbeth de Vocht (Rabobank), Lisa and me who stayed away in a three rider break. Lisa motorpaced us to the finish and after some attacks in the last km we could finish the great teamwork off by taking 1st and 3rd in both the stage and the GC – A nice day of racing. Now we can start focusing on World Championships.
Czech suprisesApril 27, 2012
The week in Czech so far has brought me many surprises. To be honest, when I think about Czech, I think about vodka, bad weather and grey houses. But I have to rectify this vision since we didn't get any vodka yet and we're getting sunburned in 30 degrees while enjoying the beautiful scenery on our bikes. I won't elaborate too much about the great weather, cause it might annoy my teammates in rainy Luxembourg a bit. The residence we stay during our Czech trip is one of the most remarkable places I've ever stayed in. It's a sanatorium and this morning I witnessed a bunch of grannies decorating a Christmas Tree. When we came back from racing this afternoon there was a full on Halloween party going on.
The courses in Czech are also pretty surprising. Today we headed to a highway in the middle of the Czech republic. It was completely blocked because 130 girls had to ride a 26km time trial in the Gracia Orlova. The course couldn't be more simple; 7km out, U-turn, 7km back, U-turn and -just to make it not too exciting- the same lap another time. So 7x4 = ... indeed, the organisers surprised us and made the course secretly 2km longer. But who cares when suffering at your very max? It was a typical TT course where the strongest rider of the day would win. Or at least, that is what you would think.
1km into this time trial and as my teammate Katie would say: I was bored! Because what do you think of when you have 26 of exactly the same kilometers in front of you? Time trialling hurts and the trick to go fast is to try not to think about the pain while riding. But that is pretty challenging when there is literally nothing to distract you. Evie declared afterwards she closed her eyes for half of the time trial to not have to look at the endless highway in front of her. The most exciting thing in the race was probably seeing teammates riding on the other side of the highway cause they started some minutes behind. Or maybe it was our only supporter Beth who screamed for her life at the turning point while asking afterwards: 'Did you hear me?'
Going in the race I knew my teammates probably would be my biggest opponents, which seems to be the consequence of riding for this amazing team. But I never could have prospected todays result. To have all of us in the top 12 doesn't even surprise me that much anymore. But to finish with the smallest possible advantage in front of Evie - 0.01sec- after 28km is just unbelievable. It made me feel more awkward than happy. It's not very fun to get to 'win' from your teammate, while you actually rode both as fast. But the good thing is that Evie is leading in GC and after our last couple of days I think I can say we're ready to surprise some more in Czech. Let's fight for every hundredth of a second!
January 5, 2013
August 28, 2012
April 27, 2012