Pro Bike Check: Michael van den Ham is pursuing gravel on his new Giant Revolt

Lyle Ellerbee

Even though using on a lot more than a dozen gravel and mountain bicycle races could look like a active summer season in advance, that is practically nothing when compared to Michael van den Ham’s Tumble cyclocross program, packed with domestic and global race targets. But which is enterprise as standard for the longtime bike owner.

MVDH Giant Revolt Pro Bike Check log hop

All images c. James Lissimore

What is distinct is his tighter aim on gravel—pushing boundaries on the current Big Revolt gravel bicycle just before shifting to ‘cross.

MVDH Giant Revolt Pro Bike Check fast blur

In spite of just ending the cyclocross time at Environment Championships in Arkansas, van den Ham is pretty much instantly pivoting to gravel—a shift that doesn’t just involve a transform of bicycle, but a big alter in schooling strategy.

MVDH Giant Revolt Pro Bike Check forest

Michael’s season commenced March 12 at MidSouth in Oklahoma (exactly where he completed 18th general), before heading to Sea Otter and then returning to Canada for Paris to Ancaster, racing almost each and every weekend by the summertime. His timetable consists of some mountain bike racing in Canada, and though he loves racing on the trails, he’s also serving as MTB Head Mentor with DEVO—the youth arm of the Escape Velocity Cycling Club in Vancouver—for the impending 12 months. Then, it is on to a full cyclocross year.

MVDH Giant Revolt Pro Bike Check top

 “I’m truly thrilled about gravel racing this time,” van den Ham claims. “The new Revolt is significantly lighter, feels a very little snappier with no getting rid of balance, has additional tire clearance, offers me the option to operate a dropper, and has mounts for just about nearly anything I could visualize. It’s heading to be just as relaxed racing MidSouth as it will be using the specialized solitary observe and chunky FSRs in my yard in Chilliwack, BC.”

MVDH Giant Revolt Pro Bike Check dropper

“I used to consider and set up all my gravel bikes to be as shut to my ‘cross bikes as feasible, but currently I have started out to go in the comprehensive opposite direction. The way I glimpse at it, I currently have a ‘cross bicycle, so I want my gravel bike to be about as much from that as probable to truly increase my driving zone with a dropper submit, 50c tires, and a double ring. It’s fairly straightforward to go from that extra gravity gravel set up 1 weekend to a considerably racier feeling set up the up coming. Just flip the chip, place some 40c tires on, and you have a snappy-experience gravel race bike.

MVDH Giant Revolt Pro Bike Check Pedals

The other massive variance this year is that he’s going all-in on himself as an athlete, opting for a privateer software that will allow for him to target on what matters most: racing difficult. With new representation through Inspire Athlete Administration (IAM), the 29-calendar year-previous Canadian has large programs for the season in advance. “Michael is specifically the type of athlete we really like to do the job with,” claims Simon Williams of IAM. “He’s committed, concentrated, and gifted, and with the proper program in area, we believe he can do great issues in biking.”

MVDH Giant Revolt Pro Bike Check gravel bars easton

Williams’ sentiments are echoed by Steve Devantier, the Internet marketing Supervisor at Giant Canada: “Michael has always worn his heart on his sleeve, and it is his honesty and passion for biking that to start with grabbed our attention. Owning an athlete as legitimate as Michael symbolizing our brand name has been amazing, and 1 of the large reasons we were being energized to indication with him for yet another two yrs. That, and he’s quite brief on a bicycle.”

MVDH Giant Revolt Pro Bike Check mike happy

“I’ve usually operate my own method. I have in no way been on highway teams, I’ve never been on a major cyclocross team—or at the very least, when I was, it was a single that I was running! But these the earlier few of a long time, I realized I was just paying out so a great deal strength and effort seeking to make all these things occur, and the perform expected to run my have system was crushing me and affecting my potential to coach and race properly,” van den Ham points out. “I wanted to just take it off my plate so I could aim on the authentic perform I’m accomplishing with racing. I feel like my overall profession has been noticing that I really do not know what I’m able of until eventually I commit to carrying out some thing all the way.”

MVDH Giant Revolt Pro Bike Check

Now on board for the 2022 year are longtime partners Giant, Easton, Garneau, Robert Axle Venture, and Obstacle Tires. “Easton Biking has been onboard with Michael due to the fact 2014, and we’re enthusiastic to help his new privateer method as he tackles a larger sized stamina timetable, forward of his presently expansive cyclocross calendar,” suggests Matt Hornland of Easton Cycling. “He carries on to be the nicest Men’s Canadian Cyclocross National Champion we have ever sponsored and was a vital part of getting the Easton Overland crew off the ground. We’re stoked to aid him once again in 2022, along with our close friends at Big.”

MVDH Giant Revolt Pro Bike Check saddle

As for in which he can go in the activity, who knows? Not even Van den Ham is confident. “First, I hardly ever assumed I was heading to be a specialist cyclist. Then, I hardly ever imagined I was likely to be a Nationwide Champion. After that, I never ever believed I was likely to get a prime 20 in a Environment Cup,” he says. “I by no means believed any of these matters, but I just retained performing absent and—despite common perception, in spite of everything—it saved on taking place.”

MVDH Giant Revolt Pro Bike Check full with mike

Michael van den Hams’ Giant Revolt

Frame: Giant Revolt Professional Innovative – Dimensions M
Handlebar: Easton EC90 AX – 44cm
Bar Tape: Easton Microfibre Tape
Stem: Easton EA90 SL – 90mm
Seatpost: EA70 AX Dropper Put up
Saddle: Giant Tactic SL
Shifters: Shimano GRX RX-815
Front Derailleur: Shimano GRX RX-815
Rear Derailleur: Shimano GRX RX-815
Cassette: Shimano 11×34
Cranks: Easton EC90 SL, 172.5mm w/ 47/32 Easton AX Rings
Wheels: Easton EC90 AX
Tires: Obstacle Gravel Grinder, Getaway, or Strade Bianca

Michael van den Hams’ Spring/Summer time calendar:

  • March 12 – MidSouth
  • April 7-10 – Sea Otter
  • April 24 – Paris to Ancaster
  • April 30 – Belgian Waffle Ride
  • Could 14 – Vedder Typical (Marathon XC)
  • May possibly 21 – Rule of 3 Gravel (tentative)
  • June 4 – Misplaced and Uncovered
  • June 17-19 – Canmore Canada Cup
  • June 22-26 – Oregon Trails Gravel Grinder
  • July 23 – Canadian XC Nationals
  • August 22-25 – Trans Rockies Gravel Royale

Observe Michael on the net: instagram.com/mvdhcx

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