TWO AWESOME CHAMPIONS, ONE EPIC RACE.
OMX’s two Elite female riders are pairing up to take on one of the biggest races in the World, the Cape Epic.
British National Champion, Annie Last, and South African National Champion, Mariske Strauss, will race eight days through South Africa’s stunning Western Cape in a bid for podium places, UCI points, and a strong foundation for the cross-country season.
Annie and Mariske will be backed by two fantastic title sponsors and will race under the team name, Hansgrohe-Cadence OMX.
Hansgrohe is a premium brand for bathroom and kitchen fixtures, and is a title sponsor of the Bora-Hansgrohe team of road race World Champion, Peter Sagan. They are also a major sponsor of the Cape Epic and have extended their commitment to the race to include supporting our Elite ladies team.
Cadence Nutrition has been OMX’s nutrition partner since the beginning of the 2016 season. We have worked closely with the brand over the past year and have developed a love and trust of their products. We are very happy that they will be a major sponsor of our Cape Epic race.
Head of Cadence Nutrition, Jeroen Swart, has been Mariske’s coach for six seasons and is a strong believer in OMX and our journey. He says,
“[Mariske] undoubtedly has the talent and ability to compete for stage wins and the overall title at the Cape Epic. If she finds the form she is capable of and paired with Annie, another supremely talented athlete, they might be the surprise package of the race.”
Of course our ladies also have the superb support of Silverback Bikes. Silverback are passionate about the Cape Epic and the Silverback Sesta Superbike was created and developed alongside OMX at this very race. It is the perfect bike for the job, and with the upgraded Sram Eagle drivetrain these bikes are set to shine! With Silverback we know we have a fully committed and dedicated team who will be pivotal to the success of Annie and Mariske’s race.
The 2017 Cape Epic starts in the beautiful Meerendal Wine Estate on the outskirts of Cape Town on 19th March. From there the race takes the riders over 691 kilometres and 15400 metres of vertical ascents before finishing up in Val di Vie on 26th March.
This will be Mariske’s third Cape Epic and she will look to her experience to help carry the team through the eight days of untamed African adventure. She knows it’s going to be painful, but being Mariske, she looks forward to that:
“The epic is such a well-organised, World-class event, and they always seem to top the previous year and finish it off treating everyone like kings. I can’t wait to share the experience with Annie and have a blast riding ourselves into a heap of hurt. The race fits in perfectly as the World Cup season only starts at the end of May; it will be perfect to push us to the next level and remind us how to suffer properly!”
Annie is a Cape Epic newbie but she certainly is not in the dark about the race.
“I have heard lots about the Cape Epic, about how great the stages are and how amazing the scenery is. Also I keep getting told how hard it is and how you can’t prepare yourself for it. I’m going in excited to get stuck in to my first Epic and to see what it’s like.” With regards to Mariske as her partner, Annie adds, “Mariske has so much energy and positivity. She has ridden the Cape Epic twice before and so has big experience and knowledge. As a local South African, she is also the designated wildlife handler incase of any encounters!”
Safari scenarios aside, Annie and Mariske don’t have too much to worry about. They are both in fine form and training really well through the winter. Furthermore, they will be aboard the Cape Epic tried and tested Silverback Sesta Superbikes which have performed perfectly in the 2015 and 2016 editions.
We can’t wait to see what the Hansgrohe-Cadene OMX team can do. Watch this space!