Elle Anderson Serious About Racing, Keeping ’Cross Friendly
In 2008, Elle Anderson was a student at Dartmouth College curious about cycling. The native of Stowe, Vt., had been a competitive ski racer for years but was frustrated by recurring knee injuries. Dartmouth’s cycling team offered a friendly atmosphere and fresh competitive outlet.
“I just remember my first ride at Dartmouth. The captain of the women’s team took me out on a little recovery loop. It was early March and freezing cold,” Anderson said. “I just thought it was the coolest thing that she took the time to show me around. It set the tone for my time as a collegiate racer. It was just really great development, really fun and enjoyable. That’s the best way to get into the sport.”
This year, Anderson of the California Giant Berry/Specialized team has raced to the top of U.S. cyclocross with regular podium finishes and victories, including four straight wins at the Trek CXC Cup and Grand Prix of Gloucester. She’s busy building her career as a pro racer while also working full time as tech support specialist for Strava.
But the welcoming atmosphere is still a big deal to Anderson.
“I think that we should really take pride in what we have created here in the U.S. as a special breed of cyclocross. What I like the most is that it’s so approachable. Anyone can really pick up a cyclocross bike and give it a try. The courses are approachable to your average person who has been on a bike before,” she said. “The minute I got into cyclocross, that’s immediately what I noticed… that it’s just a great group of people who are very friendly and inviting. I think that’s ultimately going to serve the U.S. so well because that’s going to lead to more and more growth.”
And speaking of the atmosphere at ‘cross races, Anderson would rather hear cowbells than super snarky hecklers. “There’s definitely a balance there between comedy and meanness, and you kind of get both these days. The cowbells are great. There’s just that noise that fires you up. Whenever I hear a cowbell I think cyclocross.”
If you want to cheer for Anderson, she and her Cal Giant teammates are easy to spot in their bright berry red kits aboard Specialized® bikes with Zipp® 303 Firecrest® Disc-brake wheels and Zipp Service Course SL bars, stem and seatpost. The team also races SRAM™ RED 22 with HydroR hydraulic disc brakes.
“They’re just such solid wheels,” Anderson said. “They turn so well and are so easy to handle. It’s just something that I don’t even remember cyclocross without Zipp wheels, and the disc brakes are amazing. They kind of blew my mind this year.”
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