When it comes to the Cape Epic, training will only get you so far.
As for the rest, most riders rely on the performance advantage that they get from their bikes, which is why they’ll drop up to R100 000 on a decent quality one.
The Grand Tour of mountain biking once again tested riders, including a few from Khayelitsha’s Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy, for eight days over 650 kilometres worth of Western Cape mountains.
Business Insider reports that also among the participants this year was South African duo Oli Munnik and Jarrod van den Heever, who managed to finish 38th overall, riding affordable aluminium framed hardtail bikes.
Oli “Pinner” Munnik is the brand ambassador for Signal Bikes, the South African cycling brand that held its own over the eight days of gruelling cycling.
Here he is in action on one of Signal’s bikes:
Both Munnik and van den Heever are gifted riders, proving that an expensive bike doesn’t necessarily secure a good finishing position.
The Signal bikes team raced on the newly launched local brand’s Elite 29er hardtail, which retails for slightly less than R20,000.
Although the wheels and forks were marginally upgraded for their arduous Cape Epic journey, Signal’s inexpensive aluminium hardtail was proven to be equal to finishing at the sharp end of the field, competing very favourably at South Africa’s most renowned mountain bike race.
Goes to show you don’t need to pay premium money to get a premium South African bike.
While you’re here, how about catching up on the crash video that’s been doing the rounds. Mariske Strauss took a spill when a rider ran out of skill and took her out, which you can see around the 40-second mark:
So the person who causes the crash doesn’t even bother to check if Mariske is OK? That doesn’t seem within the spirit of the race.
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