© Chris Milliman/Red Bull
If you’re a mountain bike or cyclocross fan, you’ll know Ellen Noble. The talented American CX pro is known not only for her technical skills, such as being able to ‘bunny-hop’ cyclocross barriers (lifting the front and then back wheel to allow you to ‘hop’ over obstacles), but for being an equality advocate and supporter of aspiring young riders. However, behind the scenes, Ellen, whose career has seen a staggering 21 UCI podiums and multiple national titles, has spent the last two years battling an invisible illness behind the scenes.
As the 24-year-old revealed in an Instagram post earlier this year, in 2018, after she’d enjoyed a successful start to the race season, ‘the lights went out’ on her health and she spent the next two years searching for answers. Eventually, Ellen was diagnosed as having Hashimoto’s, an incurable autoimmune disease related to thyroid function, which has turned her life and racing career on its head. Very kindly, Ellen agreed to chat about her experience in this Q&A, along with her future plans for her coveted Quest cyclocross camp for young women, and what’s making her smile right now (spoiler: it’s dogs).