Ridley and cyclocross: a golden combination for over 20 years

Ridley and cyclocross have been writing a success story for decades. Since the beginning of this century, more than 20 titles have been achieved on a Ridley, and the list continues to grow every year. In this way, we have become the reference brand in cyclocross. Dive with us into our glorious cyclocross history.

Shortly after the turn of the century, Ridley becomes the bike supplier for Palmans-Collstrop. Our brand is still less than five years old, but immediately proves its worth in the muddy fields and sandpits. Limburger Tom Vannoppen narrowly misses becoming world champion in Zolder in early 2002, just a stone's throw away from our headquarters. He is defeated by Mario De Clercq, who is also admired on a Ridley as the world champion in the following cyclocross winter.
Mario De Clercq is the first world champion on a Ridley - source: Photo News
A year later, Bart Wellens becomes world champion in cyclocross in Monopoli. He also switches to Ridley in the rainbow jersey the following winter. In Asper-Gavere, the rider from Spaar Select impressively wins his first cyclocross on his special rainbow bike. At the finish line, he proudly raises his Ridley in the air. It is the beginning of a fruitful partnership. Later, Bart Wellens would even become an important factor in the development of the X-Night, still the flagship of our cyclocross collection.

Fidea Cycling Team

De Clercq and Wellens - two cyclocross riders on our bikes - engage in a fierce battle in Pontchâteau for a new world title. In the end, it is Wellens, who extends his title after already becoming Belgian champion. At the beginning of the next cyclocross winter, he is the clear leader of the new Fidea Cycling Team. Together with, among others, Erwin Vervecken and U23 world champion Kevin Pauwels, they become the dominant cyclocross team of the moment and will ride on Ridley for years.
Bart Wellens honors Ridley after its demonstration in Asper-Gavere - source: Photo News
It is then Erwin Vervecken who ensures that Ridley has the rainbow jersey again in early 2006 after a display of teamwork at the World Championships in Zeddam. In Hooglede-Gits, he achieves his third world title in a crazy spectacle among a sea of people. Earlier in 2007, Wellens had already become Belgian champion, Ridley is experiencing golden times.

In 2008, a new name emerges among the cyclocross professionals. Niels Albert impresses as a young twenty-something and comes very close to the title at the Belgian Championships. A flat tire ruins his chances in Hofstade, but a few weeks later, he becomes world champion in Treviso riding a Ridley. Today, the later professional world champion sells our bikes at his Bike Store in Hoogerheide and Koksijde.

Czech star

Zdenek Stybar is also part of the same generation as Niels Albert. After winning the U23 world cyclocross title in early 2005, he signs a contract with Fidea. He repeats that success on Ridley in Zeddam and in 2010, he becomes world champion among the professionals in front of his own people. The road beckons for the half-Belgian, but his contract with Quickstep only starts on March 1. In this way, he becomes world champion on Ridley once again on January 30, this time in Sankt-Wendel, Germany.
Zdenek Stybar conquers the rainbow jersey in his home country - source: Photo News
In 2007, Jurgen Mettepenningen founded a new cyclocross team called Sunweb-Pro Job. The team chose Ridley as their bike supplier, which is not surprising considering all their successes. A year later, the team acquired Klaas Vantornout, a future figurehead. In 2013, he became the first Belgian champion for Ridley since 2007, conquering the tricolore in the sandy terrain of Mol. Two years later, he repeated his feat in Erpe-Mere.

During Vantornout's second title, a new generation had already emerged. The leader of this highly talented group is Wout van Aert, who became the U23 world champion in Hoogerheide in 2014, riding a vibrant yellow Ridley. He later became the world champion in the elite category, along with Tom Pidcock. The young British rider also claimed the rainbow jersey in Bieles, Luxembourg in 2017. He crossed the finish line with his Ridley, prominently displaying the name of dealer Paul Mines from Yorkshire on his white frame. The women's team also experienced a new super generation a few years later. Fem van Empel rode her Ridley to the world title in the U23 category in Fayetteville 2022. Barely a year later, she became the world champion in the elite category.
Wout Van Aert becomes world champion in the U23 category in Hoogerheide - source: Photo News
In recent years, it has been the riders of Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal who have brought Ridley the titles. Eli Iserbyt becomes a two-time world champion in the U23 category and adds a European title among the professionals in 2020. Laurens Sweeck secures the Belgian national championship in 2020. Michael Vanthourenhout, U23 world champion in 2015, continues the good tradition and conquers both the European champion jersey in 2022 and 2023, while also adding the Belgian title to his list of achievements in between. In early 2024, he passes the tricolor jersey to Eli Iserbyt. This way, Ridley continues to accumulate titles.

Eli Iserbyt wins his first European title among the professionals in 2020 - Source: Photo News
Contact us