Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Pro bikes, November 8, 2007

Jonathan Page's Sunweb-Projob Ridley X-Night

(Click for larger image)
Photo ©: James Huang

An American in Belgium

By James Huang

Campy's reliable Chorus rear derailleur
(Click for larger image)
The rear wishbone incorporates a burly-looking
(Click for larger image)
The front end features an integrated headset.
(Click for larger image)
Page runs a standard Chorus crankset
(Click for larger image)
Ridley's in-house component arm
(Click for larger image)
The unique Cole Products hub
(Click for larger image)
Oval Concepts supplies its unique stem…
(Click for larger image)

Cyclo-crosser Jonathan Page had the day of his life last January when he won the silver medal at the 2007 World Championships in Hooglede-Gits, Belgium, the best finish ever by a US male elite racer in that discipline. Some have argued that he was merely lucky that day, as earlier crashes ended the hopes of favorites Sven Nys (Bel) and Bart Wellens (Bel). However, years of hard work on the part of Page, as well as an unparalleled commitment to the discipline, would tend to suggest that this was merely a natural progression of events, not a fluke.

Page and his family are now spending their fifth consecutive winter in their home just outside of Gent, and now consider themselves residents of Belgium since they spend more time there than in the US. Not surprisingly, the transition has not always been smooth, and adapting to the area's cyclo-cross-mad atmosphere has presented its fair share of challenges. "It's not easy," he said. "The culture here is much different [from the US]. I don't want to have to fight everything. It's all fine if you get good results, but when you're not riding well, everything's a problem."

Still, though, immersing himself in the lion's den has paid its dividends and helps to explain Page's progression over the past few years. "It's gotten my level up, and that's why I moved here. I've learned a lot, and now I'm trying to get good results. There's a lot more depth in the field here, and it makes you… it breaks you really."

Page had already established himself as one of the top US cyclo-cross talents even prior to his second place finish at Hooglede-Gits, with six US National Championships under his belt, a top-ten finish at the 2006 World Championships, and a number of top-ten placings at prestigious European events. Shockingly, though, Page had achieved all of that while operating as a sort of semi-privateer with only a handful of individual sponsorships and piecemeal salaries, which is likely more a sad reflection of the significance of cyclo-cross in the US relative to Europe than a statement of Page's abilities.

That all changed that fateful day in January, though, as Page can now approach the 2007-08 season with a proper contract. Page is a member of the newly formed Sunweb-Projob squad, which is based in Belgium, managed by Belgian Jurgen Mettepenningen, sponsored by a Belgian bike company, and packed with cyclo-cross talent. Along with that peace of mind also comes new support staff, a new kit, and of course, new equipment.

Page is now on Ridley's top-end X-Night and apparently hasn't had too many issues transitioning from his previous machine. "It's very light but it's not so light that you think it's going to break underneath you," he said. "The geometry seems to be really good, and the fork, the whole fork/head tube angle… I like that, also. I also like the brake hanger in the rear, because it makes the braking stiff, and you can also adjust the brake if you need to."

Ridley's X-Night certainly has a well-established pedigree with two consecutive World Championship titles of its own. The monocoque frame is claimed to weigh just 1.4kg (3.1lb) and includes a mix of high-modulus fibers molded in the company's distinctive 'Sharp Edge' design. Dropouts are made of reliable aluminum, and the frame is matched to the company's full-carbon monocoque Python straight-bladed cyclo-cross fork up front.

The frameset is dressed up with a Campagnolo Chorus drivetrain, an Oval Concepts seatpost, handlebar, and stem, and a mix of Ridley's in-house 4ZA components, including the high-profile lightweight aluminum cantilever brakes. Rolling duties are handled by relatively new wheel company Cole Products, who supplies Page with its Shuriken Carbon Lite T38 tubulars wrapped in Dugast rubber.

Like most racers, Page will change his tire selection and pressure settings for a specific course. "It's like a race car driver would go with different compounds," said Page. "For myself, I'll pre-ride the course before the day of the event normally, and then from there, I'll pick the different treads, depending on whether it's muddy, or slick, or dry. For mud I use the Rhino, but normally I just use the regular tread [the Typhoon]. I use the file tread [the Pipistrello] for a fast dry course, or for sand. I'll determine the pressure then, too, and then hopefully I've picked it right!"

Page would naturally like to continue to carry the momentum of the past few seasons, saying, "I would like to podium at all the big events: Super Prestige, World Cup, win the National Championships, and of course, to podium again on the World Championships would be ideal." A more immediate concern, though, is a nagging illness that has sidelined him temporarily. "It's a little more than a cold, but it's not quite an infection. I'm getting over it. I'm not going to die from it, but it's not something that we really want happening. But it's better now than before the National Championships or the World Championships."

Page's current health, and its effect on his race results, has apparently not sat very well with what has proven to be a rather fickle crowd, though. "I want to get back on form as soon as possible… and shut some people up! Right now I'm on a serious mission to definitely take care of business."

Based on what we've seen from Page so far, we'd expect nothing less.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

Full specification

Frame: Ridley X-Night, 50cm, monocoque 24-ton and 30-ton carbon fiber, 3K finish
Fork: Ridley Python, full monocoque carbon fiber

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 1.78m (5'10") ; Weight: 70kg (154lb)
Seat tube length, c-c: 500mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 540mm
Top tube length: 520mm
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 725mm
Saddle nose tip to C of bars: 535mm
C of front hub to top of bars: 580mm

Bottom bracket: Campagnolo Ultra-Torque
Campagnolo Ultra-Torque Carbon, 172.5mm, 39/48T
Chain: Campagnolo Chorus Ultra-Narrow
Front derailleur: Campagnolo QS STD+CT
Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Chorus QS Ergopower
Front brake: 4ZA CB2
Rear brake: 4ZA CB2
Levers: Campagnolo Chorus QS Ergopower
Rear sprockets: Campagnolo Chorus, 12-25T


Wheelset: Cole Shuriken Carbon Lite T38 tubular
Tyres: Dugast Typhoon Cotton, 34c

Bars: Oval Concepts R700 Ergo Road, 42cm (c-c)
Stem: Oval Concepts R700 RBT, 120mm x -6°
Headset: FSA Orbit IS CX
Tape/grip: 4ZA cork

Pedals: Shimano PD-M959
Seat post: Oval Concepts R500 TBT
Saddle: 4ZA Cirrus

Total bike weight: 8.03kg (17.7lb)