Strauss and Last Together Again for Cape Epic

We are delighted to announce that for this year’s Cape Epic Annie Last will join with Mariske Strauss to re-form the stage-winning partnership from 2017.

 

Annie will be supported at the race by her KMC Ekoï SR Suntour team, working in conjunction with Silverback OMX Pro Team.  Her and Mariske will race under the name ‘Silverback KMC’. Together we have a great pool of talented people to create a strong set-up for the ladies.

This composite team is already well-established in terms of friendship and racing experience. Who can forget Annie and Mariske’s Queen Stage victory last year, and their second place overall? Exceeding all expectations, this duo rode a superb race and we are so pleased that they will ride together again later this month.

This will be Mariske’s fourth Cape Epic, and as a proud South African, it is always a special race. For Annie, it’s her second time racing this World-famous event, and the experience of last year certainly has her excited for more:
 “I love racing my bike so am looking forward to getting on the start line! I really enjoyed the event last year so am excited to see what it’s got in store for us this year. It’s rare that you can race on a MTB for 8 days in a row, I like the challenge of back to back hard racing combined with the atmosphere of the event. It’s a real team effort to get to the finish line and being part of an event with a mixture of people all riding the same race makes it a real shared experience.”
Experiencing so many emotions over hundreds of kilometres is a huge test. Together with their physical strength and technical skills, Mariske and Annie demonstrated a brilliant relationship over eight days of racing. This will be a huge asset for the 2018 edition. Mariske explains:
“You really get to know your partner on a deep mental, spiritual and physical level. Its like a marriage that grows and develops over the 8 days. This will be my first epic with the same partner and must say really looking forward to it.”
Annie has also emphasised the importance of a strong partnership:
“We rode together last year and we learnt a lot then – it’s about being in tune with how your body is feeling on that day and being able to communicate that to your partner and for them to do the same, then you can work out the best way for you both to go as fast as possible! It worked out really well for us last year.”
With such a successful campaign in 2017, the Silverback KMC team will once again be on the hunt for podium places. We have every confidence that they can deliver, but we also keep in mind the constant variables of this ‘untamed’ event, as Mariske says:
“I would love to improve on last years result, that said this is an event that takes no prisoners and we will have to take it day by day. Ultimately I believe we are capable of another overall podium. I’m really looking forward to pushing myself to the limit. Epic is such an amazing event that brings so many different aspects to racing, hopefully we will have another year of good luck and good legs.”
The Cape Epic kicks off on Table Mountain on March 18th, and then traverses 658km of South Africa’s beautiful Western Cape before finishing on 25th March at the famous Val di Vie wine estate where we hope to enjoy some more podium fizz!
Follow this incredible journey on our social media channels with live Twitter updates and daily Facebook albums, plus all the latest reports here on our website.

2018 SPIUK Kit

Spiuk has been a part of the OMX journey for 8 years, and in 2018 we have added an extra dimension to our partnership: we are delighted to say that Spiuk is our new kit supplier. 

We are really excited about this next step in our relationship with Spiuk. We absolutely love their helmets and shoes; they have given only compliments, not complaints. Now we will literally be top to toe in Spiuk gear!

With out trust firmly established in the company, we handed them the task of designing and manufacturing our new kit. It had to be something that would fit with our Silverback bikes, our history and our brand. What they have created goes above and beyond our already high expectations.

Aitor, Marketing Manager at Spiuk, explains the design elements of the kit:

The X used by OMX from the last seasons. It’s a familiar element of the team's brand.

“The X used by OMX from the last seasons. It’s a familiar element of the team’s brand.”

 

“A total OMX tribute. You can see (down) Essex´s shield, (up) one of OMX´s 1st logos, (from left to right) the creation year and the biking and mountain symbols.”

 

“These are the Pantones used. Pantone 1788 is Silverback’s one. The others are related to PASSION, EARTH and LONGEVITY. All of them express what OMX is: an enjoyable and contemporary team.”

And here is the finished product:

 

The thought that has gone into the design makes us exceptionally proud of this kit. It is a modern look, reflecting the unique history of this team. It is something really unique.

The technical features also make this a stand-out kit. Spiuk’s ‘Max’ range, the highest level of their custom kit, provides a perfect balance of fit, feel and function. It is paramount that our riders can train and race in kit that suits their professional demands. It is also important for them to feel good; putting on a kit that you love and makes you feel proud is the perfect way to start your day.

We can’t wait to bring Spiuk Custom Kit to the start line of the World’s biggest races this year!

Mariske Strauss in the House!

We are excited to say that Mariske Strauss continues her career with Silverback OMX Pro Team in 2018.

Mariske is the longest-standing member OMX have ever had, and her infectious enthusiasm and vitality add a unique dimension to the team.

The South African Champion will once again race the World Cup series and aim to continue her domination on the African continent.

Mariske ended her 2017 season with a strong ride and 24th place at the World Championships in Australia, and she will hope to start where finished with another top result at her home World Cup in Stellenbosch.

 

There are many more mad moments to come with Mariske on board! We can’t wait.

 

A British Champion at OMX

We are thrilled to announce the signing of young, British cross-country star, Frazer Clacherty.

Having been Junior National Champion and recorded 7th at the European Championships and 10th at the World Championships in 2015, Frazer is now working his way up through the Under 23 ranks. This year saw him record a career-best 6th place at the Albstadt World Cup and retain his Under 23 National Champion’s jersey.

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Frazer is undoubtedly a talented bike rider, plus he has the spirit and mental capacity to really excel in this sport. He is also a friendly and fun character who we believe will slot in perfectly at OMX Pro Team. On joining the team, Frazer says:

“I’m amped to take a step up in my career and be part of OMX for next season. I feel as though making the jump up to a UCI Pro Team will help me achieve my goals for 2018. It will be my first time competing in a full UCI series so I look forward to trying to put together a consistent set of World Cup results.”

Frazer has signed a two year deal with OMX during which time we hope to bring Frazer consistently into the World Cup top ten and offer the support and framework he needs to be the best bike rider that he can be.

We can’t wait to see Frazer in OMX colours – especially the red, white and blue stripes of British Champion – and we look forward to an exciting year of development.

Welcome to the family, Frazer!

Gluth stays for 2018

2018 will be Martin’s fourth year with the team and we are delighted that he continues his journey with us.

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A hugely dedicated rider and an amazing ambassador for our sponsors, Martin will look to build on a collection of great results and transfer that talent into World Cup performance.

Martin says,

“Having a professional team with great people around me at the races gives me the basis to perform at my personal best. I am really happy to have another year on Silverback Bikes and I can’t wait to check out the tracks with my new team mates.”

Martin has become a great friend to all at OMX and we look forward to even more strong results and brilliant British humour from him!

Bring on 2018!

SILVERBACK OMX PRO TEAM

With the new year comes a new name…

After three years of support from Silverback Bikes, in 2018 they become the title sponsor of OMX and together we form Silverback OMX Pro Team.

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It is exciting to have this level of partnership with a brilliant bike brand, and we look forward to further developing the relationship we have. Silverback provide us with award-winning bicycles and we provide them with a World-wide, elite sporting platform to display them upon. Furthermore, we can share a journey of passion, growth and accomplishment.

Whilst the name changes, the management and the goals stay the same. OMX has a unique history of growing over ten years from a few local guys to a World-class race team, and that heritage is something we are hugely proud of and hold close to the heart of our team.

The dream is still very much alive: together, let’s chase World Number 1 by the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games!

Stay tuned to see our new riders, announced soon.

Pastures New for Annie in 2018

After two amazing years with OMX, Annie will move onto a new team in 2018.

When Annie joined the team in 2016 she was still piecing the jigsaw of winning bike races back together, but we are incredibly proud to say that during her time with us the picture came into perfect focus and Annie is now very much in the ascendency once again. Annie brought to the team a new level of professionalism which benefitted everyone around her, but she also brought a wicked sense of humour and a lovely nature. Annie’s World Cup win in Lenzerheide was a dream come true for all of us and a moment we will never forget.

Team Manager, Paul Beales, reflects:

“Annie has shown that anything is possible. She is an absolute model professional who gives everything to be the best on a bicycle.  A great person off the bike and devastatingly good on it.  I am pleased OMX were able to play a small part in helping Annie return to the front and have the best year of her career so far.  We all wish Annie the very best in the next stage of her career and hope to see her representing Great Britain at the front of bike races for many years to come.”

 

We asked Annie for her Five Most Memorable Moments with OMX. In classic Annie style, here they are –

Winning the teams first elite British National Champion’s jersey, in Glasgow 2016.
I remember getting ready in the team tent. Outside it was so cold and windy but inside the atmosphere was warm and everything ran really smoothly which gave me easy prep into the race. It was great to win the National Title after having a challenging few months where training hadn’t gone as planned, and it was a special team moment.

British National Championships

2016 Andorra end of season after party.
We had a great team dinner and celebrations and I learnt that Isla definitely doesn’t like tequila, and that Lee and Martin do like it but can’t keep it down for very long! We still have a lot of laughs about that night. 
Champagne with Imogen
2017 Cape Epic.
After being told by my South African teammates for a year how ‘hectic’ and amazing the Epic was, we decided to race it. It really was such a great experience, with so many amazing parts to it and lots of memories. Winning the Queen Stage and coming in 2nd overall was great, but it was the daily routine and atmosphere and really having to dig in and work as a team which give the race its identity and uniqueness. Finishing it off with convincing Lee back on to tequila after the scars of Andorra topped it off nicely.
Winning Lenzerheide World Cup.
To finally be racing back at the front of a World Cup and to be able to finish it off with a win was just amazing. It was my first World Cup win and first time I had been on the podium in five years. After a lot of hardwork to finally have it pay off was so good. The team supported me through a frustrating 2016 and to finally be able to deliver the goods was such a good feeling. 
The final memory is one of my whole two years with the team.
It is of the genuine support and care that the team has for one another. To be supported when you’ve had a bad couple of races and always have the belief of the team behind you makes the year so much more enjoyable and means you can just crack on with racing bikes and having fun. Thank you to everyone at OMX who believed in me and gave me these wonderful memories. 
An incredible list of achievements, interspersed with laughter; it is a perfect reflection of Annie and her time with the team.
Annie, we wish you every success in the future and thank you for your wonderful work with OMX.

New Chapter for Isla in 2018

After an amazing journey with our wee Scottish pocket rocket, it is sadly time to say goodbye to Isla.

As of January 1st 2018, Isla will no longer be riding for OMX Pro Team.

Isla joined OMX back in 2015 as a first year Under 23, and as the team rebranded and relaunched as OMX. Isla has therefore been with the team on a long and winding road which has seen us help Isla through some darker times, but which mostly consists of many wonderful moments of success, laughter and friendship.

Team Manager, Paul Beales, reflects on our time together:

Our goal from the very beginning was to help British athletes progress and give them the platform to race at the highest level.  It has been a privilege to have Isla as a part of OMX for the last 3 years and help in her development as an athlete.  The lows of a broken back to knocking on the door of the World Cup podium has created a unique bond and if we have played a small part in bringing Isla closer to her goals then we can only be happy.  Isla has the World of bike racing at her feet and we wish her the very best for the future.”

 

We asked Isla for her Most Memorable Moments at OMX. Here is what she said:

   I sat down to write about my five favourite moments from my time with OMX, and after staring at a blank bit of paper for five minutes I wondered how I could possibly choose five singular moments from the last three years that stand out from the rest. After many scribbles and notes I realised that I just can’t. Since joining OMX in 2015 I have met my absolute bestest friend, qualified for the Commonwealth Games and travelled outside of Europe with a group of incredible people. But these things don’t even begin to summarise my time with the team. So, know that the memories I have picked are not necessarily stand out experiences, but instead they are just five of hundreds of moments I have felt privileged to have such crazy, witty, supportive humans in my life.

 

  • March 2015: The final day of a three week trip to South Africa

   Right at the very start, I flew out to South Africa to meet my teammates and do some racing. I’d never left Europe before, nor had I ridden for a professional team, so it was fairly daunting. Three weeks later I hiked up Table Mountain with my new-found racing family, ate banana pizza (yeah what is that?) on the beach, and unsuccessfully tried to kayak with Cherie at the point where the Indian ocean meets the Atlantic.

  • 2015: Discovering beautiful Lenzerheide

   A couple of days before our racing started at Lenzerheide World Cup, a few of us got the gondola up to the top of the downhill track to watch Downhill Qualifying. The view from the top of the mountain is one of my favourite views in the world. That’s when I fell in love with that place! That same trip I remember arriving at the accommodation, walking into the living room and going crazy because Mariske was there and I hadn’t seen her in 10 months. World Cup trips were so much more than going to race my bike!

  • May 2016: 16th at La Bresse World Cup

   After being absent from racing for a while, I was full of self-doubt heading back out onto the World Cup scene in 2016.  At the second World Cup of the year I raced to 16th in La Bresse, winning a four-way sprint. It was the first time in two years I’d felt the front end of bike racing within reach, and when I collapsed at the finish line to an emotional team of staff (Imogen was teary), I realised just how much the guys on OMX shared my goals. It made me realise that my racing is a team sport, and that I was part of a pretty swell team.

 

  • July 2017: Annie’s World Cup Win

   I have spent two years on OMX with Annie, during which time I’ve learnt about her success, her strengths, and her hardships in the bike racing world. When she crossed the line at Lenzerheide this year to take her first elite World Cup win (and the team’s) it was my go to turn on the water works. I’d gone for post-race cake with Ella Connolly; we were sat in a café 2km away when my phone flashed up saying that Annie was leading with one lap to go. “Ella, we need to go now,” then a sprint back to the venue just in time to watch Annie cruise up the finishing straight. What a thing to see! I am so grateful that I could be a part of that day, as Annie’s teammate and as part of OMX.

 

  • August 2017: Career Best in Val di Sole

   I started this year knowing that I was capable of being a top 5 World Cup rider, and after five frustrating races I pulled it off at the sixth and final round. Paul Beales – OMX Team Manager –  shared my frustrations all summer because he believed it too and knew that when things came together I would achieve what I’d set out to do. Finishing 4th in Val di Sole was the best day of my life so far and I got to share it with the people who’d been with me from the start, and knew that they felt what I felt. Now that my journey with OMX is coming to an end, I’m so happy that my final World Cup in red and black was such an awesome one.

 

What wonderful memories!

Of course we will miss Isla and all her characterful traits – her repulsion at the taste of Tequilla, her long auburn hair EVERYWHERE, her strong sense of self, her amazing cakes and that big smile – but we wish her the very best in the future and will always be proud that we were a part of her cycling career. Good luck, Isla!

Julian Schelb out of Cape Epic

We are sad to say that Julian Schelb can not continue the Cape Epic, and that Martin Gluth will ride on as an ‘Outcast’ rider.

During today’s (Sunday 19th March) Prologue at the Cape Epic in South Africa,  Julian’s core body temperature got dangerously high and he passed out whilst racing. Although the crash was not serious, his temperature (at forty degrees plus) was.

Julian was seen by medics and taken from the track to the on-site medical centre in the race arena. From here he was transferred to hospital. Medical staff worked to bring his core temperature under control. We are very happy to say that Julian is recovering well. His temperature has stabilised, his test results are good, and he is back with a smile on his face.

The Cape Epic is a savage race, and today it was the temperature – which pushed forty degrees centigrade – that was the most difficult obstacle to overcome. After months of preparation, Martin and Julian were eager to get stuck into the race and kick start their campaign with a strong Prologue ride. With the determination to get a top result today, the team were pushing hard and on this occasion Julian’s body took a heavy toll.

Julian is currently still in hospital so that he can be monitored and every step can be taken to ensure his full and quick recovery. We are very thankful to MediClinic South Africa for their brilliant response to the situation. We will keep you up to date with Julian’s condition as the week goes on.

Meanwhile, Martin will now ride the race as an ‘Outcast’. He can not gain results, but he will ride hard for both himself and his good friend and partner.

Thumbs up from Julian - the best thumbs up we've ever seen!

Thumbs up from Julian – the best thumbs up we’ve ever seen!

 

GERMAN DUO FORM ‘SILVERBACK OMX’ FOR CAPE EPIC 2017

OMX Pro Team’s Martin Gluth will pair up with Julian Schelb for the 2017 Cape Epic.

The German duo will be aboard the Silverback Sesta Superbike, and with unparalleled and focussed support from our bike partner, will ride under the team name, ‘Silverback OMX’ for the eight days of untamed African adventure that is Cape Epic.

The Sesta is tried, tested and proven at the Cape Epic, having been raced to a stage win and a third place in 2015, and numerous top tens in 2016.

 

Martin rode the Cape Epic for the first time last year and made quite an impression on the race, mixing it up with the big-name, experienced teams and finishing fifth on two stages. Martin says the Cape Epic was a highlight of his 2016 season and he is very much looking forward to taking on the challenge again in 2017, this time with some experience of what to expect and how to handle it.

“In the Cape Epic you have always ‘ups and downs’. You can suffer like hell already after 30 minutes of a 4.5 hour stage, but the page can turn from one moment to another. This was an experience I figured out last year and it will help Julian and me for this year. We did already so many kilometers of training and racing together and we are very good friends. I think the partnership at the Cape Epic will work out well! We know the strength and weaknesses of each other. This should help us in difficult situations. I am really looking forward to race with him!”

 

 

Along with Martin, Julian has been a member of the German National Team for many years, during which he won Silver at the 2013 U23 World Championships in Pietermaritzburg. He has also trained in Stellenbosch each winter for the last six years, so although Julian is new to Cape Epic, he is not new to suffering and success on South African soil!

“I have watched it live in 2015 and loved the atmosphere and the adventure paired with racing. Since then it has been a big goal for me to race this special MTB race”, says Schelb.

While riding for the Multivan Merida Team, Julian got some good advice:

“Näf and Hermida told me the most important thing for Cape Epic is to ride with a good friend, not only a strong rider. And I think this is true. To know each other well and seeing how the partner feels is a great advantage for us. We will fight together for the best position possible and help each other in difficult situations.”

 

Team Manager, Paul Beales, is really positive about what the 2017 Cape Epic can bring for the Silverback OMX pairing.

“The Cape Epic is a race where experience is invaluable, and I feel that after four years competing at the Cape Epic we have some good experience and a team that is capable of fighting for the top positions.  We will go in with a good race strategy and look to improve on the results from previous years”

 

Martin and Julian will kick off their Epic African adventure on 19th March in Meerendal Wine Estate, just north of Cape Town. You will be able to follow the race live with updates, videos and reports across our social media throughout the week.

Bring it on!