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Bicycling (South Africa) - - Inside - Marco Jou­bert’s Mom­sen Vipa Race Two

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.

BY AARON BOR­RILL IMAGES BY ROB WARD

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