October 23, 2018 – She has long, blonde hair, blue eyes, and the face of an angel, but make no mistake. Elena Novikova (34), born in St. Petersburg, raised in the Ukraine and now an honorary Italian, is as determined as she is beautiful. An athlete of great strength and willpower, she specializes in long distances, whether it’s on a road bike or a mountain bike. Regardless of terrain or discipline, she keeps racking up one win after another.
After setting eleven world records on the indoor track in Montichiari, near Brescia (Italy) in 2017, this year she beat her own record on ten consecutive climbs in 24 hours at the Gavia Pass (Lombardy), covering a total distance of 322 km and a total elevation gain of 13 km in 22 hours 3 minutes. In July, she was crowned European champion at the road time trial in Dobrovnik (Slovenia), covering 715 km at an average speed of 29.56 km/h (65 laps of the 11 km track). This summer, she also triumphed at the Iron Bike, a mountain race of more than 700 km and with 25 km of elevation gain across extreme alpine trails through Italy and France. It’s a sort of Paris-Dakar on a bike in which, as Elena explains, “you race 10-12 hours a day for eight days, hike uphill for five hours with your bike over your shoulder, and sleep less than four hours a night”.