We had the chance to run into women’s pro Mieke Kröger of the Canyon//SRAM Racing team last week at our EU base as she took an alternative approach to prepping for the northern Spring Classics. While most of the men and women of the pro peloton head somewhere warm and sunny to tune up for the season Kröger took to the roads of central Europe solo instead. What better way to prep for the cobbles and unpredictable weather of Belgium than 10 self-supported days on the road and 1000km of riding across the less-traveled roads of eastern Germany and the Czech Republic. Take a close look with us at what the bike she set out on looked like as she heads into the race season…
Just 22 years old and with a background on the track, Mieke Kröger was getting prepped for the Tour of Flanders this weekend when she stopped in for a rest day visit in Prague. Kröger was riding her Canyon Ultimate CF SLX that she had just gotten over the winter with the start of the new team. Her bike was set up pretty close to its race configuration, with few accommodations for a week and a half of solo touring.
She was travelling reasonably light (for a 10 day trip) with the essentials stuffed into a medium sized saddlebag and a small backpack. She told us that the team with their sponsorship with Rapha had a new special set of Apidura Brevet bikepacking packs on the way, but couldn’t get one in time for her trip. So after her third day of riding, we lent her the standard Apidura saddle pack we had been testing to get a bit of weight off her back, so she could focus on training her legs.
The current German Time Trial Champion trains and races with a full SRAM Red eTap group and a Quarq power meter with standard 53/39 rings; her pedal of choice, Speedplay.
Her self-supported training wheels are Zipp 404 carbon clinchers, with 25mm Conti GrandPrix tires and standard tubes. But when she shows up to race in Belgium this weekend, she’ll be on tubulars, if not something special from sponsor Zipp?
Kröger’s bike setup had a few amusing pro touches, like an electrical tape wrapped chainstay so that her race transponder doesn’t scratch the frame, and a Tacx steel internal cam QR that she uses at home on the trainer and forgot to swap out before her trip.
With her time trial background Kröger prefers a less conventional saddle. She rides the ITM Adamo Attach TT atop a 2-bolt carbon post from Canyon. She used a rubberized Topeak bag to keep tools and spare tubes close at hand, held in place by some zip ties that accommodate her slammed forward saddle position.
A couple of personalized team #TaketheLead bottles in composite plastic Canyon SE cages kept her fuelled on the long solo days, and a cage-mounted Topeak mini pump made sure she was self-sufficient.
Kröger had an interesting cockpit setup for her multi-day, multi-country spring touring/training camp/trip. A very custom mount (zip ties, a bit of bar tape, and the modified section of the retail box the camera arrives in) held a GoPro to her one-piece carbon bar/stem, so she could capture some video and photos on her trip. Canyon’s own out-front Garmin mount held her Edge 800 computer in place. Kröger usually races with a smaller and simpler Garmin, and her 800 has a broken mounting tab, so some velcro and some ingenuity thanks to her mom keeps the GPS in place so she could follow the maps as she rolled on unfamiliar roads. Don’t worry, we pointed her in the direction of Dog Ears, so she’ll be back in business for her next self-supported trip.