Cape Epic 2017

The year is young but the plans are already well underway for another epic African adventure…

 

We are very excited to announce that once again OMX Pro Team will race eight days through South Africa’s Western Cape in the infamous Cape Epic.

 

It is a race that has captured our hearts and drawn us in, and after great success in 2015 and 2016 we are ready to push further and make an even bigger impact on one of the World’s biggest races in 2017.

Classic Cape Epic with choppers hovering above the golden, early morning dust.

One of the proudest moments of OMX…ever! Fabian Giger and Martin Gujan in the leader’s jerseys after winning the prologue in 2015.

Racing the Cape Epic puts you amongst the buzz of the World’s cycling media and in an atmosphere that is simply unparalleled: the early morning hype as the helicopters take off and the cameras roll and the next chapter of the race unfolds…

It is a real privilege to be a part of this race and the stories and memories that it creates.

 

This year the riders will cover 691 kilometres and 15400 metres of vertical ascent, starting in Meerendal on 19th March and finishing in Val di Vie on 26th March.

 

It will be, as ever, a battle of physical power and endurance, mental steel, preparation and dedication. It is an ultimate test of any athlete. We’ll make battle with our competitors, with the route, and with ourselves in a bid for glory.

It is brutal but it is beautiful, and that is why we return.

 

Much more will be revealed soon…

 

#CapeCrusaders

THE INTERVIEW! Martin Gluth

Great news: Martin Gluth continues his contract with OMX into 2017!

Over the last two years we have really seen Martin grow as a rider, and also as an athlete as a whole. Not only has he stepped up his results, but he has also settled really well into a team environment. He has become a central member of the team with a hard working and professional outlook, and a blooming British sense of humour!

As with any rider, Martin had a few disappointing races in 2016, but he was always immediately discovering the problems and striving to fix them. He is driven, but without driving anyone mad!

Seeing Martin really hit his stride towards the end of the season, with a number of podium places and even an HC victory, was a real pleasure and a high point for the team. We are sure he can go on to even better things this year and we are excited to watch his progress.

 


And now for…THE INTERVIEW!

 

What was your 2016 season highlight?

This is really hard to say. There were many great highlights this season. The Cape Epic was one of them. But also the first World Cup in Australia was special and my first Win in a HC category race at the end of the season!

 

– What was your toughest professional moment/period in 2016?

The toughest period this year began after the second World Cup in Albstadt. I was already sick at the start line and got even more sick the days afterwards. It was the worst time to struggle because the third World Cup was already one weekend later. No chance for any result and I missed the qualification for the World Champs. That was really hard to take. 

 

– What was the funniest OMX moment of 2016?

The indoor photo shoot at the official team photo shooting in London at the beginning of the season. 

 

– Who or what particularly inspired you last year?

Nino Schurter winning Gold at the Olympics! It was just the perfect story. I am inspired how he prepared his mind for that ONE day over 4 years after winning Bronze in Beijing and Silver in London.

 

– What is your big 2017 goal?

Top 15 in one of the World Cups and a medal at the German Champs.

 

– What does it mean to you professionally and personally to be part of OMX in 2017?

Since I have been racing it was always my dream to become a professional rider. It means a lot that I can live this dream together with OMX for another year! Personally I can say that I have built a really good relationship with every team member over the past two years in the team :)


What to know about more Martin? Of course you do! Click here to see his Rider Profile.

THE INTERVIEW! Mariske Strauss

The longest standing rider on OMX continues the journey together with us for another year.

It’s always a pleasure to have Mariske Strauss in the house!

Mariske brings dazzling enthusiasm and light-hearted fun wherever she goes. She’s always smiling and chatting and she often lives in her own little World, but beneath that exterior lies a fierce determination to succeed and an incredible ability to push her physical limits.

Mariske is the leading lady of African cross-country racing and she will look to continue that domination in 2017 whilst also striving to step it up again in Europe where we have seen sparks of excellence.


And now for…THE INTERVIEW!

– What was your 2016 season highlight?

I would have to say GRADUATING! Sport Science industry make way I’m coming in hot. :)  

– What was your toughest professional moment/period in 2016?
I’d probably have to say not being selected for either worlds or the Olympics due to silly politics. 
– What was the funniest OMX moment of 2016?
Mmmm how could I choose, probably Annie and myselfs “Cyprian Interviews” maybe I should rather stick to riding my bike and leave the interviewing to the professionals 😉 
– Who or what particularly inspired you last year?
Actually my amazing Cadence recovery drinks. The harder the sessions the yummier they seem to get!
– What is your big 2017 goal?
Well other than being down right awesome, I really want to make my mark on the World Cup series
– What does it mean to you professionally and personally to be part of OMX in 2017?
Support friendship and family. Thanks for the amazing past 4 years we had and cheers to making some great new memories. 

Want to find out more about Mariske? Click here to read her Rider Profile.

OMX Pro Team of 2017

As 2017 unfolds we are very happy to continue moving forward with a strong team of riders, staff and sponsors.

 

We are proud to be able to consolidate our team, maintain momentum and head into this new year with four very talented riders who have renewed their contracts with OMX Pro Team.

OMX Pro Team will be headed up by British National Champion, Annie Last, who is enjoying a brilliant winter of training and is looking forward to stepping up again in 2017 and showing her full potential. Alongside Annie in the Elite ranks will be Martin Gluth who had a stellar run of results late this year and is looking to carry the confidence and momentum through to bigger and better results in 2017. Also riding Elite in 2017 is South African Champion, Mariske Strauss, who will once again look to dominate in Africa and carry that success into the European World Cups. Finally, we have rising Under 23 star, Isla Short, who following an incredible return to form last year is aiming even higher in 2017.

 

We believe we have World Cup podium potential in this team, and many more successes besides in everything from the Cape Epic to top category European races.

 

As well as performances on the track, we also know we come together as a great team off the track. Over the last year this group of riders have formed strong bonds and created a supportive, fun and fruitful environment in which to operate. Together with the tight-knit support staff this creates a strong foundation for a great 2017.


 

We hope you will join the journey and support us each step of the way.

 

2017 Team

Riders:

Annie Last (GBR)

Martin Gluth (GER)

Mariske Strauss (RSA)

Isla Short (GBR)

 

Staff:

Paul Beales – Manager

Will Cooper – Manager

Danny Smith – Soigneur

Imogen Buick – Soigneur

Anna Buick – Media

Lee Westwood – Mechanic

Mark Henderson – Mechanic

Silverback and OMX Continue Together in 2017

We are very happy to announce that the team have signed another two year deal with Silverback Bikes.
 
We have achieved great things aboard Silverback bikes, and we are delighted that our strong partnership with them will continue into the future. Working together with a dedicated and passionate team at Silverback we have helped to develop a Superbike Concept range that we are always excited, confident and proud to ride. Alongside their World-class mountain bikes now runs an expanded line of Silverback bikes from awesome road racing machines to the beautiful, brand new Siablo cyclocross frame. We have all the bikes we need to race and train on any ground and in any condition.
The Silverback brand is progressive, innovative, young and ambitious; it resonates with us as a team. OMX has helped to bring international exposure to Silverback, and Silverback have been an integral part of making OMX a World-class team. We feel there is a lot more to come from this partnership and we very much look forward to our continued work together with this amazing bicycle brand.

THE INTERVIEW! Isla Short

Our young, Scottish super star is here to stay another year!

Isla had a traumatic 2015 with far too many broken bones and an untimely bout of illness. She bounced back in considerable style to have a terrific 2016 with the Elite British XC Series Title and top 20 World Cup results to her name. In 2017 she is set to steer a fine course on her upward trajectory towards the top!

It’s often easy to forget that Isla is just 20 years old. She’s had her fare share of low points, but she always emerges fighting harder. You can’t keep this girl down! Isla grew up a lot in 2016, both on and off the race course, and her sense of happiness and confidence showed in her performances which really highlighted her as one to watch in the coming years. Isla has a real spirit to go alongside her immense talent, and it makes her an exciting athlete to work with.

We can’t wait to see what this pocket rocket can do in 2017!


 


And now for…THE INTERVIEW!

 

-What was your 2016 season highlight?

Sprinting up the finish straight at Lenzerheide World Cup to take a career best of 11th place. The crowd slapping the barriers and shouting encouragement was such an incredible feeling! 

 

– What was your toughest professional moment/period in 2016?

My first race of the year, the first round of the British Series. I surprised myself by leading the race for two laps, but then I suffered a mechanical issue which lost me 8 minutes. It took me a while to get over that one as it was my first race back from injury and I had so wanted to get a good result.

 

– What was the funniest OMX moment of 2016?

Martin Gluth making an appearance in the Daily Mail for thinking he’d won the German Road Champs. Best thing ever.

 

– Who or what particularly inspired you last year?

Ensuring I had fun when I was training and racing inspired me to get through even when performance wasn’t going well. 

 

– What is your big 2017 goal?

My big aim this year is to qualify for the Commonwealth Games. I’ve got six chances in six months, which makes it slightly less intense than aiming for a single result. 

 

– What does it mean to you professionally and personally to be part of OMX in 2017?

In a professional respect, being part of OMX is mega. To be part of the friendliest, funnest team on the circuit makes racing, training and travelling such a delight. On a personal level, spending the most important events of the year with a bunch of people I’m so comfortable around and love to be in the company of is invaluable. It makes the intensity of racing a positive experience rather than a scary one.

 


THE INTERVIEW! Annie Last

We are delighted that Annie Last continues with OMX Pro Team in 2017.

Annie joined the team this time last year and immediately both parties felt settled and at ease; it was a perfect fit. Annie’s quick wit, relaxed demeanour and down-to-earth character make her a great team member to travel and live with. When it comes to work she is a consummate professional with a level of organisation, experience and dedication that sets her apart and sets a great example. She has been a cherished team mate from day one.

 

Unfortunately, illness played a leading role in Annie’s 2016 season and thus she was not able to achieve all that she had hoped for. However, through some testing times her focus and commitment never wavered; in true Annie style and terminology, she just cracked on!

 

The hard work was rewarded in the Mont-Sainte- Anne and Vallnord World Cups where Annie raced to very strong 17th place finishes, scoring OMX our best-ever Elite World Cup results. Annie also won a South Africa Cup, got a fine third place in America and got on an all-star podium in Switzerland. It was a pretty good run of results for any Elite rider, but Annie is looking for more, and we believe she is very much capable of bigger results.

 

This winter has seen Annie really able to pack in consistent training, the results of which are very promising. We are all really looking forward to another season with Annie and seeing her return to her best.

 


And now for…THE INTERVIEW!

 

-What was your 2016 season highlight?

It felt great to step onto an international podium with some of the best riders in the World at the Swiss Cup in Basel. 

 

– What was your toughest professional moment/period in 2016?

My preparation for the start of the season and the first part of the season I was ill. Getting over the frustration of not being able to train takes work. 

 

– What was the funniest OMX moment of 2016?

The lead up to this…

 

– Who or what particularly inspired you last year?

Ensuring I had fun when I was training and racing inspired me to get through even when performance wasn’t going well. 

 

– What is your big 2017 goal?

To go fast and step onto the podium!

 

– What does it mean to you professionally and personally to be part of OMX in 2017?

Who you share the journey with is one of the most important things. The hearts of OMX are 100% in the right place, I am very excited to build and move forwards with OMX this year. 

 


For more about Annie’s past successes, future goals and few of her favourites, check out her Rider Profile here.

A Fine 5th for Isla at CX Champs

Isla reports from a classic cyclocross battle in the mud, cambers and hills of Bradford’s Peel Park:

“I had an awesome start from a 3rd row grid, getting onto the wheels of Evie Richards [reigning World Champion] and Ffion James. The three of us had just started to open a gap part way round lap one when I slid out on a corner and dropped 9 places. The course was super muddy, almost every corner was foot out survival mode! There were lots of crashes, lots of running and no rest. After the crash I spent the next lap recovering from my attempt to stay at the front of the race. Then I got going again and raced back to 5th U23. I felt a little disappointed after the race, but having checked the lap times I can see that I would have been battling for a medal had I not had a lie down. It didn’t quite go to plan but there’s no way I can be disappointed with my result against girls who train for this! It’s the first time I’ve really felt I can be competitive at national cross which is a great feeling. I need this level of racing to keep me on my toes through the winter, and reflecting on the race it was a really positive day in the saddle which bodes well for the months to come when I get back to wide handlebars and fat tyres!”

Isla’s performance against some very talented cyclocrossers really shows her to be capable of mixing it with the best despite cyclocross remaining secondary, even through the winter, to mountain biking. More importantly, however, is that this weekend’s race shows Isla’s self improvement and with that comes so much positivity and confidence going into the 2017 season. Things are looking good for the year to come!

Silverback and Knight go Cyclocross!

Whilst we are in the depths of winter and the cross-country season still feels so far off, we are certainly not in hibernation! 

The crazy cool discipline of cyclocross is currently front page news in the World of cycling and we are delighted to bring you an exciting story…

Silverback have released to the team a brand new, first edition cyclocross-specific bike which will roll on Knight Composite’s newly developed cyclocross wheels. It’s a match made in muddy heaven!

Silverback prides itself on World-leading innovation and devilishly detailed design and development. The new cyclocross frame is the result of these characteristics and we are incredibly honoured and excited to be the first to race it.

 

The engineering team at Knight also invested a great deal of time and care in the research and development of their first cyclocross wheels. They determined the stresses that are placed on a cross wheel on how and where they are different to those that their road wheels were facing. Once the stresses were established, it required the team to redefine the carbon layup process to ensure the right material was put in the right place. These are no crossover, hybrid wheels. They are 100% cyclocross-specific: the end result is a wheel that is stiff, lightweight and durable enough to handle the toughest cross courses you can find.

Whilst cross-country mountain bike remains our primary focus, cyclocross racing through the winter has proved an invaluable addition to the training programs of a number of our riders.

Our British duo, Annie Last and Isla Short, will have the privilege of being first to ride the new set up. Annie has several National Cyclocross Championships medals to her name, while Isla is the current Scottish Champion and Series winner. Both riders are really looking forward to putting the bike through its paces and hopefully delivering some more medals for Silverback and Knight.

Bring on the mud!

PREVIEW: British National CX Championships

Whilst cross-country mountain biking firmly remains as Isla Short’s primary cycling discipline, she is happy to admit that cyclocross is a perfect way to augment her off-season training and stay in touch with the cycling World in the dark days of winter.

Following on from a successful Scottish cyclocross campaign, tomorrow Isla hits up the British National Championships in Bradford, Yorkshire. Ahead of her biggest cyclocross race of the season she has given us an insight into what to expect…

 

“I’ve had a really successful cross season: it started off steady but once I got my fitness back from my time off in October I was able to take the win at the Scottish Champs and grab the series title. I’m confident I can perform well this weekend but I don’t really have any expectations as I’ve not raced cyclocross at a British level in a long time.

My goal is to medal in the U23 race, but it’s hard to aim for anything other than to do my best! My biggest rivals will be most of the girls in the category really, as the standard is very high. I plan to use my climbing ability and my new found running skills to get the edge. But as I said, I have no benchmark to go on so we’ll just see what Sunday brings!

As far as British cross courses go, this one is right up my street. It’s got lots of hills and lots of mud: the two things I love!”

Photo thanks to Pammie Ball

Photo thanks to Pammie Ball

Isla will line up in a 32-strong field, headed up by the reigning World Champion, Evie Richards. Technical skill, strength, running ability and a strong mental game will all need to be nailed for a successful race on the somewhat infamous Peel Park course. Thankfully Isla has all of these assets in spades so we wish her the very best of luck and believe she can deliver a strong result tomorrow.

 

The U23 Women will race at 1045  (Sunday 9th January).