Ridley and cyclocross: a golden combination for over 20 years
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.