What do you think of your new SLiCK?IT IS AWESOME!
Tell us about the bike and design?Factor have produced a Kona2019 custom painted SLiCK for Jan van Berkel and myself to ride, and it’s simple stunning! I feel they have really embraced the feel of the island. The colour scheme is bright green merging into yellow, making it stand out for a start. However, it’s the level of detail that sets this apart. On the inside of the forks, and other elements of the frame, it represents the spirits of the island, with volcanoes, Hawaiian flowers and Mahalo messages to the island, There is even a Hawaiian Honu tucked away on the back of the seat post. The floral lai design continues on the base bar too.
What is your favourite part of the new bike?So hard to narrow down just one part of the new bike, but I think I like the little turtle tucked away on the rear of the frame.
What’s it been like working with Factor Bikes?I’ve been incredibly impressed with the partnership I have with Factor. They have been really interactive to work with, and actually showing an interest in the athlete. It’s been great to be able to meet some of the Factor team, here in Girona too. When they deliver you a beautiful, brand new, custom painted bike for Kona, you can’t really complain!
For anyone who hasn’t ridden a SLiCK, what is it like to ride?The SLiCK is just so much fun and a joy to ride. Partly because it just looks so good, but also because I find it handles really well. It’s fast when you get it going in a straight line, yet corners and descends well too. I just love riding it, and when a bike gives you that feeling, it can’t be a bad thing. I really love the unique Twin Vane EVO down tube.
What other Factor bikes do you ride?I have an O2 Disc in Christchurch, and I’ve also been lucky enough to ride the O2 VAM in Girona, that was something else as far as road bikes go.
How has your training and preparations for Kona gone?My training has been a little mixed this year. I broke my collar bone in May, and whilst the healing and rehab went really well, I’ve struggled to find my form again in the past few months. That’s always a little worrying when you are going up against the best women in the world, as you really want to be in the best shape and have that confidence in your ability. But I’m still ready to give 100% of whatever I have on the day.
What are you expectations going into the race?I really don’t have expectations as such for the race. I’m just going to focus on trying to deliver the best I can with where I’m at. Trying to embrace the island and the experience and enjoy the opportunity I have.
What have been the highlights of your year/season so far?It’s been a really mixed and frustrating year for me, however the highlight was definitely winning Ironman Australia. I entered the race as the two time defending champion, having won in 2017 and 2018. However, it was going to be tough to win again, and again my form and confidence wasn’t high going into the race. To then get into a foot battle with one of the greatest women in our sport, and manage to take the win, was a hugely emotional feeling.
Where is your favourite place to ride/favourite route?I am incredibly fortunate that I get to swim, bike and run in some incredible places around the world. I’ve been to some amazing locations so it’s hard to pick a favourite place. There are so many favourites in my heart for so many different reasons. I currently spend six months in Christchurch, New Zealand, and six months in Girona, Spain. Christchurch has some fantastic riding in and around the Port Hills, and then Girona too, just a mass of different roads to explore.
What is like to live, train and ride in Girona?Girona is just a fabulous place to live and train. There’s great swimming with a 50m outdoor pool, Banyoles Lake and the coast of the Costa Brava. There are so many different roads you can ride on and routes you can find, and even the Pyrenees are close to escape to every now and again. For running too there are so many trails to find in the hills or on the flat. Of course, there’s also a great little town, with awesome coffee and cafes. There are so many athletes that base themselves here, Pro Cycling teams, Triathletes and runners. You don’t feel out of place, but yet accepted as the norm. The athletes and a lot of the support network here, have more flexible hours of work, so I feel there’s more daily engagement if you want it from others. Laura Siddall & Jan van Berkel are competing at the Iron Man World Championships in Kona on 12 October 2019. Follow them on Instagram: @LMSID @janberkel All photos by Jody Wilson. Instagram: @jodywilsonphotos
The Factor SLiCK
Driven by Obsession. Obsession for speed; for boundary-pushing performance; for versatility and adjustability. Each element of the SLiCK, from the 51 Speedshop Aerobar to the Twin Vane EVO downtube, was intentionally included in the design because of Factor’s obsessive quest to create the fastest, most technically advanced aero bike available.