A hub cassette on a bike wheel
Credit: Classified

Classified Cycling has launched, together with Belgian Cycling Factory, the first professional Factory Team in the gravel scene. On Saturday Classified Cycling launched the team at the Velofollies international bike show in Kortrijk (19-21 January 2024), with Ridley as main sponsor. Classified Cycling is a Belgian technology company that produces smart bicycle hubs and wheels while Ridley, as part of the Belgian Cycle Factory, is a cherished brand of Belgian performance bicycles.

As part of this race team announcement, Classified is also bringing a major update to its Powershift system-equipped wheelsets. Tom Boonen, together with other pro-rides invested in Classified Cycling over the past years. Classified entered the gravel circuit in 2023 and until recently sponsored a one-man team with Dutchman Piotr Havik. Now the company is lending its name to a full-fledged team of five gravel talents, including Havik; Belgian prospect Daan Grosemans; and Brits Toby Perry, Annabel Fisher, and Freya Rawlins.

The team, dubbed the Classified x Ridley Factory Team, will race an international schedule, including the UCI Gravel World Series and the Gravel Earth Series, an international ranking of seven gravel races. The team has high ambitions: Toby Perry has already won the UCI World Series gravel race of Millau (France) in 2023, while Annabel Fisher won the final classification of the Gravel Earth Series last year. The UCI Gravel World Championships in Leuven at the beginning of October will be one of the highlights of the season.

“Some big sponsors wanted to contribute their share to the Classified Factory Team, so we can now strengthen our one-man team and move up a gear with Classified-Ridley,” says Classified ambassador Tom Boonen.

“We are at the beginning of a very nice story. We strongly believe in the gravel scene and will continue to support it in the long term.

Mathias Plouvier, co-founder and CEO of Classified Cycling, is also proud and ambitious: “Classified and Ridley have a heart for both gravel and innovation, and it’s great that our long-standing collaboration with the Belgian Cycling Factory is now taking on a new dimension. With nutritional specialist Foodmaker and bike rental company Cyclis also on board as co-sponsors, we will soon be sending a strong team to the first ever world championship on home soil.”

The fastest shifting system on the market Classified Cycling’s technology really comes into its own when it comes to the unique challenges of gravel cycling. With the ingenious Powershift hub, cyclists only need to fit a single chainring, without a front derailleur, yet they keep a wide range of gears thanks to an ingenious, super-fast and patented shifting system. The wireless system is enclosed to protect it from the dirt and mud so often found on the rugged roads and terrain of today’s gravel events.

This system sets a new standard in the world of gravel racing and immediately puts the Classified x Ridley Factory Team a bike length ahead of the rest. Back in 2020, Ridley was the first bike brand to equip the Classified system, starting on their Kanzo Fast gravel bike. The expertise of these two Belgian brands is now coming together again with Classified-equipped wheels and shifting systems on Ridley bikes.

Jochim Aerts, CEO of Belgian Cycling Factory (Ridley), is eager to keep building on this successful collaboration: “Gravel racing is a discipline for everyone, shown by the success of our Kanzo Fast and Kanzo Adventure. The feedback of pro riders is highly valuable for us to keep optimizing, as we sell the exact same bikes to the public. We’re thrilled to be part of this team and look forward to its future and potential.”

Updating the Classified wheel range For the new team, Classified is also launching a completely new range of wheels for both gravel and road bikes. The wheels are up to 12% lighter, up to 10% stiffer and 14% more aerodynamic than previous Classified wheel models. The wider rim profile and compatibility with lower pressure tires provide more comfort and less rolling resistance.

The new Classified gravel wheels have been extensively tested by the Classified x Ridley Factory Team, which will use them immediately for the 2024 season. The new wheels are available to purchase now for 1500€ per set. Visit the website for all the technical specifications.