Marco Joubert’s Momsen Vipa Race Two.
MMarco Joubert’s rise to prominence has been meteoric – the 21-year-old celebrated his most successful season last year, comprising 10 wins and over 20 podiums. This year sees him riding in the colours of Imbuko Wines together with Dylan Rebello – a partnership that has already celebrated some early success, the pair completing the 121km Attakwas Extreme in 5th and 6th respectively.
It will also be the first year
Joubert focuses 100 per cent on his riding, choosing to forego his studies to pursue a full-time career on two wheels. Perhaps the biggest secret to Marco’s success lies in his approach to life as a professional athlete. It seems as though nothing can dampen his positive attitude – not even a broken collarbone, which almost put an end to his Absa Cape Epic ambitions. Instead of admitting defeat and putting his feet up, he was back on the bike after just two weeks, smashing intervals in preparation for a hard block of racing.
When asked about his goals the youngster had this to say: “Naturally, the Absa Cape Epic’s a big focus for us (Team Imbuko Wines) this year. I also want to do well at SA Champs; and depending on my success there, I’d also like to have a crack at World Champs. But at the end of the day, it’s all about having fun on the bike – staying positive, and trying not to take things too seriously.”
1 Frame & Fork AFRICAN SYMMETRY
The Vipa Race Two is Momsen’s top-of-the-range racer. Seen here in 2018 livery, it eschews last year’s bolder colour scheme for stealthier looks. We like it. Subtle visuals reference its African heritage – the Baviaanskloof topographical stencilling is beautiful, and validates its ‘Forged in the Untamed’ catchphrase.
Suspension is a meld of RockShox and Fox: 100mm RockShox Sid fork and 80mm Fox Float Evolution, a nod to the bike’s marathon-style bent. That’s not to say it can’t be raced on XCO circuits; Joubert’s one of our most proficient riders, having cut his teeth on the tracks of the Baakens Valley Trails in PE.
“I’ve been with Momsen since I was 14 years old. I’ve grown up with the brand; it’s like part of my identity.”
Weight? 10.5kg, minus 500g in full race regalia (Conti tyres, XTR brakes, and Stan’s Podium carbon wheels without Powertap).
2 Wheels And Tyres: LIGHTER IS BETTER
Joubert’s Vipa is very different to off-the-shelf, featuring a slew of hightech components to make it lighter as well as perform better. Example: Stan’s Podium SRD carbon wheels – weighing a feathery 1287g, the Podiums are also 15 per cent stiffer than the Valors they replace. These carbon hoops also feature an internal rim width of 23mm, for added traction and stability. Pictured here, they’re wrapped in Vee Tire Co Tubeless-Ready 2.25 tyres, but are replaced with Continental rubber come race day.
3 Groupset: WINNING COMBO
A combination of Shimano and Sram is used throughout. Of course, the latter takes care of the drivetrain – a full Sram Eagle X01 (10-50T) with 36T chainring. This set-up seems to have become standard for top-flight MTB, with its stellar mix of granny and top-end gearing.
While an XX1 cassette would cull weight even further, the XO1 fits the bill superbly, staying true to its incognito look and feel. XX1 carbon cranks complete the assembly.
Shimano makes a cameo appearance in the brakes dept, with XT all round. Proven durability and reliability; a no-brainer for Joubert (particularly for stopping power), though soon to be replaced by lighter and more powerful XTR.
4 Parts: A CARBON THEME
As expected, most of the ancillary items are carbon. The Ride Farr handlebar is light and stiff, and looks badass too – check the unique carbon twist of the bar. Then there’s the stock Momsen saddle, yellow grips, seatpost and negative-drop stem. All very aggressive.
Other than that, the bottle cages come compliments of Lezyne, while Shimano XTR pedals seal the deal. In terms of data logging, Joubert uses a Wahoo Elemnt computer paired to a hub-based Powertap power meter.
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