Here’s the bike that could be first across the line at today’s Amstel Gold Race.
Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Belisol) was second last year in the opening race of Ardennes Week, and will start today’s race among the favourites.
We got acquainted with Vanendert’s Ridley Helium SL while the mechanics worked. It’s a machine as light as its name suggests, weighing no more than 950g in its largest size, and tipping the scales at a scant 750g in size small.
Vanendert is a Belgian rider on a Belgian bike, and with the final two races of the Spring Classics on their side of the border, the Belgian Lotto Belisol squad will want to end today’s excursion to the Netherlands on a high.
Here’s a detailed inspection of the machine that could help them do so. To read our review of the Ridley Helium SL, click here.
Jelle is the elder of the two Vanendert brothers. Dennis’ machine carries his full name
Despite the severity of a parcours that ends on the infamous Cauberg, Vanendert will run an 11-25 cassette
Vanendert will monitor his performance on SRM’s Power Control 7 – the peloton’s default
Vanendert is a climber and runs a 120mm stem perched on a couple of spacers. The foot-long, slammed, nose-on-the-tyre set-ups tend to be the choice of sprinters.
A further clue to Vanendert’s specialism can be found in his seat position: set far forward on its rails
25mm tubs are becoming the order of the day for Classics, even in the Ardennes
There are many pleasing details on Vanendert’s Helium SL. This red anodized cable end is among them
The WorldTour peloton can be a high-tech environment, but Vanendert’s Campag Bora Ultra 2 80mm carbon hoops are identified with a simple marker pen.
More red detailing here in the cable end and brake pads. Note the calipers from Campag’s second-from-top Record 11 group: significantly cheaper than Super Record 11 – even for pro teams.
Number in place and ready to race: Vanendert will be hoping to finish higher than ninety-eighth today