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Elena Novikova,
Off-Road Specialist

Mopar® sponsors mountain bike champion Novikova for the second consecutive year

Elena Novikova Off Road

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”.

A true champion

Elena Novikova Off Road Jeep

Elena’s passion for cycling came about by chance at around the age of 20 when, encouraged by friends, she participated in her first race. Since then, she has never stopped and continues pursuing ever greater challenges. “The beauty of cycling is that you can improve very quickly, and that motivates you,” she says. “The downside is that your legs have a poor memory. If you stop pedaling, you have to start all over again from scratch.”
Those less familiar with the sport might think that, to become a “war machine” like Elena, you need to just about kill yourself training. The truth is that she only works out a couple of hours a day, no more. “Super long workouts are useless for endurance racing,” she explains. “What is very important, though, is diet and, above all, mental preparation. You need to know how to manage and control your body. During a race, I can ‘turn off’ one muscle in favor of another if I realize I’m getting tired. I try to always stay within my limits, so I don’t build up lactic acid and can sprint even after 20 hours of racing.”
Above all, it’s a matter of focus. “Nearly every 24-hour race has a 40-minute track,” she says. “My secret is to focus on one lap at a time. With each successive lap, I try to perfect my technique so that I can do it faster and faster by braking less and less. It helps me to treat each lap as if it were a stand-alone race.” Her passion for what she does and her determination to succeed are most certainly gifts that have helped Elena Novikova get to where she is today, and her advice to anyone looking to get into this sport competitively is: “Be committed, and never give up.”

Mopar is there alongside Novikova

Elena Novikova Jeep

Passion, determination and a love for the challenge are the same values that underlie the work of everyone at Mopar, the global brand that accompanies FCA customers throughout their experience with their vehicles, providing technical support and assistance for their every need in terms of performance, safety, and customization. This is why Mopar has once again chosen this European mountain bike champion as its spokesperson. The Mopar logo is emblazoned on her race jersey, and a Jeep® Renegade with Authentic Jeep® Accessories by Mopar accompany her to her races and in her free time.
Her Jeep is equipped with satin gray mirror caps, rear light cluster bezels and grille. The 1” lift kit, 16” black alloy rims and oversized tires, front and rear mud flaps, and side skirts give it an even greater off-road look and feel. Oh, and a bike rack, of course. It’s an off-road vehicle worthy of a multiple world champion of the dirt. “This customized Jeep® Renegade with Mopar accessories and I were destined to be great friends,” Novikova says.

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