(c) Emily Maye

A ride with Specialized Lululemon 2013-Blog by Ellen Van Dijk

The first trainingcamp 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 trainingride 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 rockclimbing 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. Untill 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 backpocket. 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 trainingcamp she rode every trainingride 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?