In this series, we talk to the pros about their bikes: what they ride and why. More than simply a spec list, this is an insight into how the world’s best riders select their tools.
Name: Demi Vollering
Role: Ardennes Classics
From this season, we now have the O2 VAM for racing, and I had a chance to do one stage race with it before the Covid-19 arrived. It feels really light and also really stiff, so climbing feels fantastic, and it’s really good in the corners, too. I had a great feeling with it immediately and I think it helped me to get a nice result [3rd overall at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana].
I still have an O2 which I use for training, so we save the VAM just for races. The VAM is just that bit lighter and stiffer, and the new paint for our team bikes looks super cool!
I want a bike that can do everything: climbing, descending, handling, aero, and also some comfort for the Classics. I love to climb and also to descend fast, so I want to have a really good feeling, to feel one with the bike. The O2 VAM gives me all of this.
I really like hard, technical races, such as the Ardennes Classics, and also races with more climbing, such as stages in the Giro. I’ve had some nice results but I’m still learning; it takes a lot of time. There were a lot of races I lost because my positioning wasn’t good. In Liège-Bastogne- Liège I almost missed the front group because I was too far back when we started to climb La Redoute. I just made it and was able to finish third, which was great, but I was still a bit unhappy because I had wasted some energy with the mistake.
Ride Like A Pro
It was easy to set up my position on the O2 VAM. I did one bike fit and we could transition everything from my old bike. Long rides are easy, I never have any pain. My position has stayed the same so far in my career.
I’m not very fussy with my bike set-up – I don’t have any strange requests for the mechanics. It’s quite normal. I’ve not been cycling very long so maybe these things will come! I simply like to keep my bikes really clean.
I have been cycling since I was 16 and first did some races for fun. Then two years ago I started working with a coach and made really big progress. At the end of that season, Parkhotel approached me to ride for them. It all happened really fast!
When I was younger I did ice speed skating, which is a big sport in the Netherlands. The bike was my first passion, though, and when I saw my cousins racing it really got me interested to try myself. Then it was love at first sight.
My cousin is Nancy van der Burg, and she is now also my teammate which is really cool. I always looked up to her and she is still like a mentor to me. I can still learn from her thanks to her experience.
We use nearly always the Black Inc Fifty tubular – it’s light and fast, very good all around. Soon we will test the Black Inc Thirty tubular as an option for the cobbles and races with lots of climbing. I am looking forward to trying it.
We use a mix of 25 and 28c tyres in races. I prefer the 28 for the grip and comfort, particularly when you have different road surfaces and descents. I have more confidence and that’s so important.
Last year I lost some confidence because I crashed a lot of times and for a while cycling was not so much fun. I had to work to get my confidence back.
The cranks are 172.5mm and my chainrings are 53/36. I asked the team for a bigger outside chainring instead of 52. The cassette is nearly always 11-30. Like this, I have a low gear for steep climbs and a big gear for descents. I almost never change it so that it feels the same and I’m used to it.
The team is sponsored by PRO and I have a PRO Falcon. I liked it immediately. I used to have some trouble with saddles and used a few different ones in previous years. This one is really good.
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