The Performance Benchmark
On Sunday the 17th of March 2019, Signal Bikes will make its debut at the pinnacle of MTB stage racing - the ABSA Cape Epic - when Oli 'Pinner' Munnik and Jarrod van den Heever roll down the Epic Prologue start ramp on a pair of Signal Elite alloy hardtails.
In 2019, the 16th edition of this gruelling event will cover a total of 624 kilometres and 16 650 meters of climbing over 8 days. History has proven that there is no tougher mountain bike stage race in the world than the ABSA Cape Epic.
Over the years, the Cape Epic has emerged to be as much of a physical challenge for riders as it has a litmus test for riders' equipment. With Signal Bikes having launched in January 2019, there was no doubt that come March, a pair of Signals would be on the start line at the UCT Prologue.
With 9 Cape Epics completed - 3 on a hardtail and 6 on a dual suspension - we hear from TEAM SIGNAL rider, Oli Munnik:
"South African riders deserve a great value mountain bike that can withstand the demands of events such as the Attakwas and Cape Epic. With the Attakwas conquered, Jarrod and I will embark on a ferociously tough 8 days aboard a pair of Signal Elites with the aim of demonstrating to our loyal customers that Signal Bikes are tough enough for the World's premier mountain bike race.
Over the years I've successfully ridden a few Epics on a hardtail, so I guess I will have to channel those memories into positive energy when the going gets tough!"
Oli has teamed up 20 year old Jarrod van den Heever who will be riding his first Cape Epic. No stranger to the sharp end of a race, the 2018 African Continental XCO Champion is relishing the chance to tackle the Untamed African Mountain Bike Race, saying:
"if your goals don’t scare you then they're not big enough".
When it comes to stage racing, they don't get much bigger than the Epic!
TEAM SIGNAL - Fast Facts
- Best Finish: 11th (2007)
- Strengths: Technical terrain, endurance.
- Weaknesses: Maintaining power on bumpy terrain.
- Why Epic: It's the Global benchmark in Stage Racing and an integral part of South Africa's cycling industry.
- Cape Epics Completed: Newbie
- Best Finish: N.A
- Strengths: Descending, short and sharp racing.
- Weaknesses: Long climbs.
- Why Epic: I've predominantly raced XCO since starting my cycling career and this is the perfect opportunity to branch out into stage racing against the world's best.
THE BIKES: Signal Elite 29er
Get to grips with the custom specced alloy 29er hardtails that Oli and Jarrod will use at the 2019 Cape Epic.
THE KIT: Signal Matrix
You won't miss the boys in their custom Cape Epic Signal Matrix kit.
THE VIBE: Follow Team Signal
Images by Craig Kolesky