The Belgian rider Ellen van Loy has confirmed her retirement date – February 26th 2023 at the Sluitingsprijs Oostmalle. The 42-year-old will finish her off-road career at the race, which has seen her collect many victories and national championship medals.
“I didn’t give it my all until I was 28, but as a late bloomer I can only look back with gratitude on the many beautiful moments on the field, my victories and the numerous supporters who still cheer me on everywhere. I feel my time to say goodbye to the field has come. In the coming weeks, I will really enjoy all the competitions that I still ride, including the Belgian championship and the World Cup.
The Belgian is still open to a very last World Cup participation in Hoogerheide. If the national coach wants to take me to the World Cup, I am certainly open to that. I will stay in cyclocross, because after this season I will share my knowledge and experience as a youth coach within the De Ceuster Bonache Cycling Team. That is also one of the reasons why I joined forces with this great team two years ago.
I will remain active on the road for a while. The condition is still good enough and I still have a lot of fun in derny competitions and criteriums. They can still invite me for that, but I will definitely close my active career as a professional rider in cyclocross at the end of this season. I feel it is time for me to retire, but I will give everything until the end of the season. More than ever, I enjoy the people who always cheer me on.”Ellen van Loy
The Belgian will combine her riding with her youth coach role and also her current work as a care worker too. Over the last 13 seasons, Van Loy has taken 10 wins, including the final classification of the DVV Trophy (better known now as the X2O Badkamers Trophy). She can also include races in Beijing, Woerden, Boom, Meulebeke, Neerpelt, Hasselt and Valkenburg to her palmares. Van Loy also has 2 wins in the SuperPrestige series at Diegem and Gavere too.
Despite such a strong palmares, she was never able to beat Sanne Cant in the Belgian national championships. Admittedly a tough ask at the peak of Cant’s powers. Van Loy finished 2nd on 5 occasions and 3rd twice. A pair of top-10s at the World Championships and 8 top-10 finishes n the European Championships complete her honours list.
Photo credit: Cor Vos