Mick called it “
the event of the year!“. Certainly for the 1300 riders who saddled up at the start line at the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, the 2019 Cape to Cape proved to be one of the best yet in the event’s impressive 12-year history. With four days of racing packed into some of the best trails of south west Western Australia, competitors were treated to sublime singletrack, tough climbs, fast fireroad bunch trains, and exciting finish line sprints.
If you haven’t checked it out already, Mick’s Mega Gallery from this year’s event
is an absolute belter, and tells a superb behind-the-scenes story of what it’s like not just to participate in the event, but everything that happens on either side of the race tape too.
Here we’re going to take a closer look at some of the bikes and kit from the Cape to Cape, to see what the pointy end (and the less-pointy end) chose to race in one of the country’s biggest multi-day mountain bike race. Grab yourself a cuppa, and sit back to enjoy a feast of carbon fibre, Kashima and electronic wizardry!
“Rider’s ready!” Epic scenery for the start of the 2019 Cape to Cape, with the stoic Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse looming above the race field.
The Trek Shimano Australia Team with smiles all-round! Most riders were aboard the previous iteration of the Top Fuel race bike, as the new Supercaliber wasn’t quite ready in time.
Giant’s top-end Anthem was ready for some of its sponsored riders though, who were getting familiar with the Fox Live Valve automated suspension system.
Bendigo Brotherly Love. Tasman & Russell Nankervis raced as a pair at the 2019 Cape to Cape, despite competing against each other regularly in national-level XCO and XCM events.
Tas remains as a Merida-sponsored rider, though he’s recently jumped ship to Shimano. His new race bike was decked out with a full Shimano XTR 1×12 groupset, Fox dual-lockout Factory suspension, and Reynolds Black Label XC race wheels. Stealthy!
Jason Lowndes, a promising young cyclist from Bendigo, and a good friend of the Nankervis brothers, was tragically struck by a car and killed while on a training ride in 2017. You’ll see this sticker on the top tubes of many of the people who knew Jason well. RIP Lowndesy.
As a member of the Trek Shimano Australia team, Brother Russell is aboard the previous generation Top Fuel. How’s that epic saddle height!
An equally epic stem length to suit Russ’ epic arm length. Slammed too of course! Note the missing fork lockout cable – Russ is only running a rear lockout, since he found there to be a lot of resistance at the lever when setup with both cables. And after spending a lot of time riding his 130mm travel Fuel EX, he’s not so worried about not having a fork lockout on his race bike.
Team Fox & Racoon were up for a tough fight at the 2019 Cape to Cape, with some seriously quick competitors in the women’s pairs category.
Doubles as crash protection in the event of knackering oneself.
Look at that singletrack! The colours were popping in the forest.
Released in time for the 2020 model year, the new Liv Pique range is topped by this stunner; the Fox Live Valve-equipped Advanced Pro 29 0. There were many impressed new riders aboard the Live Valve system at the Cape to Cape.
Pivot’s Mach 4 SL is also a new release this year, and with the 120mm travel Fox 34 SC fork, it’s just about the perfect bike for the 4-day Cape to Cape event.
It wasn’t all carbon fibre and electronics though – check out this double butted Chromoly frame from Hunt Bikes. Capable of fitting 29+ wheels and tyres, it has a tidy chainstay yoke to achieve the necessary clearance for fat rubber.
Old mate from Wolfpack Racing had a new prototype saddle that he wasn’t too keen on our camera lenses from papping. Not much gets past us though!
Four. Whole. Days.
And how bloody nice is this Cannondale F3000? Such lust for these back in the day!
Shimano XT V-brakes* complete with brake boosters. (*V-brakes are a sort of disc brake where the rim is like a really big disc rotor).
Double water bottles on this Specialized Epic FSR – a very useful feature for the long stages at the Cape to Cape. Check out the storage box below the downtube bottle, and the neat SWAT tool underneath the other bottle.
Tas Nankervis rejuvenating his hub and bottom bracket bearings.
Em Viotto threading her Cannondale Scalpel through the singletrack.
Partner on and off the bike, Karl Michelin-Beard is also aboard a Scalpel race bike – one of the few on the circuit that’ll take that 2nd water bottle, and Karl made good use of it.
The Beast From The North East, Paul van der Ploeg, raced the Cape to Cape with brother Neil. Like his Giant Oz teammates, Paully has recently got his hands on the new Anthem Advanced Pro 29 0, which comes decked out with Fox Live Valve. No more lockout levers required!
Another legend of the mountain bike scene, Johnny Waddell, was also racing the Cape to Cape on a new-ish, but decidedly much heavier duty mountain bike; the Santa Cruz Tallboy. Apparently Maxxis Minion DHR II is now the new XC race tyre of choice!
Peta Mullens and Jarrod Moroni flew over from Bendigo to race in the mixed pairs category. Jarrod brought along this stupendously high-end Scott Spark RC, which had us doing a double-take!
Jarrod’s race bike is running the very exotic, and very expensive Syncros Silverton SL wheelset, which is almost entirely made from carbon fibre – including the non-adjustable carbon spokes that are bonded to both the carbon rims and the carbon hubshells. Wow.
Our eyes are twitching just looking at that orange warning sticker attached to that expensive XTR rotor attached to those very expensive Syncros wheels…
This trick XCR model from Sport-On is a full-blown Cross Country handcycle that this chap was having a marvellous time on. The Cape to Cape had a special course just for handcyclists who were competing in the 4-day stage race. So rad!
The Specialized Duo, made up of elite road riders Lucy Bechtel and Ella Bloor, put in a powerful effort to take 2nd place in the Open Women’s Pairs category aboard their Epic FSR race bikes. Not bad for two road racers!
We’ve already taken a close look at Trekky’s custom Giant Anthem race bike, but it’s so darn special that we had to take another look at it!
Alongside Giant-Shimano teammate Jon Odams, Trekky notched up another win at the 2019 Cape to Cape, albeit with barely a minute over 2nd place. That’s some close racing!
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