Q&A with Ivar Slik, new gravel pro rider

We are always happy about growing our Wilier Triestina family, so here we are to announce Ivar Slik, Dutch rider, class 1993 as our new Brand Ambassador and Athlete.
With a background as professional road racer, due to the spread of Covid-19, Ivar discovered a brand-new world, made of gravel. The next chapter of his career begins now.
We set down with Ivar, talking about his past and future achievements.

Tell us a little bit of yourself and your cycling career.

My name is Ivar Slik and I am 28 years old. I started cycling when I was 10 and I combined road racing with mountainbiking. As U23 rider my cycling career really started in the best development team in the world: Rabobank Continental Team. After some good results, I made the step to pro-continental level in 2015 at Team Roompot. Two great years followed, in which I rode famous classics like Tour of Flanders, I’ll never forget those experiences.

After my professional career at Team Roompot I rediscovered the pleasure of cycling with ABLOC Continental Team and I booked four UCI pro wins. I also fell in love with off-road racing again, where it all started. Beachracing is a huge passion from me, and in 2019 I became European Champion in this discipline, one of the achievements I am most proud of.

What made you get in touch with gravel and what do you like the most from riding it?

In the last couple of years more and more cycling races are placing several gravel roads inside the route. The more gravel sections were in it, the better it was for me. In the first half of 2020, when all the races were cancelled due to the Coronavirus, we turn it into a challenge to discover all the unpaved paths in our area. It was as if a new world opened up for me and with the gravel bike you can get to know beautiful places, that you can’t reach with a road bike. In that year, Laurens ten Dam also organized “Dirty Kanzelled”, and this was the moment when I first heard of the most famous gravel race in the world, Dirty Kanza (now called UNBOUND).
Because this race was cancelled in 2020 too, Laurens made an alternative ‘race’, a Corona proof event in which people were challenged to ride 200 miles with as many gravel roads as possible. Niki Terpstra (my trainings partner, fellow villager, and friend) draw the route on Strava and at 6 o’clock in the morning Laurens, Niki and me started this adventure with the same UNBOUND’s rules (self-supported, maximum 2 stops). It was a great day and afterwards I realized something: in 2021 I wanted to be at the starting line of UNBOUND.

You had the chance to spend some time at Wilier Triestina HQ – tell us your impressions.

At the beginning of February, I visited Wilier Triestina HQ. I got a warm welcome and it really feels like a family. Everyone in the company is involved in what’s going on and this gives me huge motivation.
What impressed me the most is the rich history of Wilier Triestina, which is displayed in the museum. See the original bikes of Marco
Pantani, Alessandro Petacchi, Alessandro Ballan and Gilberto Simoni was really cool. I also found out where the name Wilier Triestina name comes from and saw by own hand the famous Ramato color, where Wilier has a patent on.

What do you expect from your brand-new Rave SLR?

I heard some very good stories about the Rave SLR and it has already won the Design and Innovation Award. I feel honored that I will ride the 2022 gravel races in the saddle of the best bike I could wish for.
After I visited Wilier Triestina HQ I directly went to trainings camp, bringing my brand-new Filante SLR and after the first training rides I can already conclude that the Filante SLR is the best road bike I ever had. The Rave SLR seems to be even better so I can’t wait to make my first rides on it.

Which are your main 2022 goals?

In 2022 I want to win a major gravel race like Traka Gravel, Gravel Locos, or an UCI gravel event.
My biggest goal of 2022 however is to perform as good as possible in the biggest gravel race of the season, UNBOUND. This race can make or break your season. I am also curious about the UCI gravel series and the world championships, but because not much is known about it I don’t know exactly what to expect about this yet.

If there’s one thing you could choose, what would you really want to achieve?

To win UNBOUND in one of the upcoming years.

What’s your motto in life?

My grandad used to say “Het is werken en je bek houden”. The translation is: ‘Work hard and don’t complain’. I am holding on to this.

Happy to have you on-board Ivar!

THE BIKE OF THIS ARTICLE

Rave_black_grey_matt

RAVE SLR – BLACK GREY; MATT

Traveling new roads is not just an attitude. It can also become the target for someone who has been making bicycles for over 116 years.
With Rave SLR we have set our sights on new horizons, creating a product with two separate souls, perfect for all-road, perfect for gravel, but the same incredible racing inclination. Rave SLR will be a new cycling experience, unexpected for many.

Discover More