Swift Carbon http://www.swiftcarbon.com Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:19:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 ADAM BLYTHE WINS RIDELONDON-SURREY CLASSIC http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/adam-blythe-wins-ridelondon-surrey-classic/ http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/adam-blythe-wins-ridelondon-surrey-classic/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 08:25:21 +0000 Josse Vander-Bilson http://www.swiftcarbon.com/?p=4921 Team NFTO’s Adam Blythe outmuscled and outfoxed a breakaway group of five top riders (Ben Swift, Julian Alaphilippe, Kristijan Koren and former world champion Philippe Gilbert) to win the RideLondon-Surrey Classic, aboard his Ultravox Ti. The 200km race saw many early attacks that were controlled by the big hitting WorldTour teams, but Adam picked exactly the right move when, with 70km to race, Gilbert attacked before the infamous Box Hill. Outnumbered in the breakaway of several top riders, with other teams represented with two or more, Adam sat tight, biding his time before Gilbert attacked again. The break was then reduced to five where he kept rolling through, knowing this was his chance to show up the [...]

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Team NFTO’s Adam Blythe outmuscled and outfoxed a breakaway group of five top riders (Ben Swift, Julian Alaphilippe, Kristijan Koren and former world champion Philippe Gilbert) to win the RideLondon-Surrey Classic, aboard his Ultravox Ti.

The 200km race saw many early attacks that were controlled by the big hitting WorldTour teams, but Adam picked exactly the right move when, with 70km to race, Gilbert attacked before the infamous Box Hill. Outnumbered in the breakaway of several top riders, with other teams represented with two or more, Adam sat tight, biding his time before Gilbert attacked again. The break was then reduced to five where he kept rolling through, knowing this was his chance to show up the WorldTour teams.

Making the decisive move

With the five watching each other rolling through the last couple of kilometers in the finale, the favourites took their eyes off Adam for just a second. He kicked first in the sprint, gaining a few bike lengths on Ben Swift, holding it to the line. The Sheffield man claimed the top step of the podium, and gave SwiftCarbon our biggest victory yet in road cycling.

Adam said after his historic win, ‘It’s hard to say how much this means to me, but you could see how emotional it was as my face said it all… this is very big race for a British rider to win, especially in this setting in front of the Queen’s house. I hope she was watching.’

 

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ONE-ON-ONE WITH KYLE BUCKINGHAM http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/one-one-kyle-buckingham/ http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/one-one-kyle-buckingham/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 14:12:58 +0000 Josse Vander-Bilson http://www.swiftcarbon.com/?p=4819 In his first event as a professional triathlete – his first competitive ride on the SwiftCarbon Neurogen – Kyle Buckingham hit Ironman South Africa hard, taking 2nd step on the podium, an amazing result. South African Kyle shot to notoriety when he smashed the age-group course record at Ironman Hawaii in 2013 with a remarkable 8:37:26. It cemented the now 30-year-old’s decision to turn professional and completed a meteoric rise for the man who only raced his first triathlon five years earlier. SwiftCarbon has just added Buckingham to their impressive roster of pro triathletes that includes Ironman legend Jozsef Major [...]

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In his first event as a professional triathlete – his first competitive ride on the SwiftCarbon Neurogen – Kyle Buckingham hit Ironman South Africa hard, taking 2nd step on the podium, an amazing result.

South African Kyle shot to notoriety when he smashed the age-group course record at Ironman Hawaii in 2013 with a remarkable 8:37:26. It cemented the now 30-year-old’s decision to turn professional and completed a meteoric rise for the man who only raced his first triathlon five years earlier.

SwiftCarbon has just added Buckingham to their impressive roster of pro triathletes that includes Ironman legend Jozsef Major and 2013 Challenge Barcelona winner Sérgio Marques. Here we discover more about one of the hottest new prospects in world triathlon…

First things first – you hit the podium at Ironman South Africa with an amazing second place, how did that feel as a neo pro?

I had such a cracker of a day. It was an incredible feeling to be racing alongside some of the world’s best – during the cycle leg I was riding next to Faris Al-Sultan and I thought, ‘Wow, this is Faris! He’s won Kona!’

I went into the race having done an amazing prep in my training and to come second was an absolute dream come true for me and to have the second fastest bike leg is the highlight of my career.

Take us though the race, coming out of the swim a few seconds off the lead and surging to regain contact?

I had a fantastic swim to start the day. I was in the second pack after a fast start which I couldn’t maintain in the beginning but after about 1km I made a huge surge to get to the front pack again. I came out the swim in 8th spot and after a fast T1 I jumped on the bike in 6th position.

I could see the front three leaders about 1km ahead and I decided to make a huge decision and chase hard, so it took about 30min to catch the leaders having gone out my comfort zone but knew the wattage I could maintain. Then I went after Nils and got him too. He had an awesome bike leg and he went up the road.

Then on the run I went out and started running some splits under 4min/km until I hit a really bad patch at 32km. I had stomach cramps. I was in a bad way and Faris went past me. Somehow I pulled it together again on the last lap of the run and I overtook him again. I was giving it everything – talking to myself, making noises. And I held on to second place.

Talk us through the bike leg – how did the Neurogen perform?

I have to say the Neurogen was the fastest bike I have ridden in my life. It felt like when I pushed hard to stay with the leaders there was no loss of power which is what you definitely want riding with pro’s of that level of experience.

That bike is amazing. It’s super stiff and the handling is incredible, especially in the wind – I could ride just about all the time in the bars and I didn’t have to fight the bike. My average wattage shows that I was super comfy on it and with those new bars I could get my position perfect.

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Why did you turn professional this season?

I wanted to at the end of 2012 but my coach, Raynard Tissink, said it was too soon. Instead we focused on winning the amateur race at Ironman Hawaii, which I achieved in 2013 and, in the process, set a new course record.

How has your training and nutrition changed since turning pro?

In short, greater discipline’s required and increased focus on recovery to ensure I don’t overtrain. That said, training’s not significantly more each week and my nutrition’s always been pretty good. Raynard’s been my coach for the past four seasons, which explains why we haven’t had to make drastic changes.

What are your aspirations for 2014 and beyond?

This season I’m aiming to win a half or full ironman and do well in the Ironman professional rankings point system [which determines qualification to Ironman Hawaii]. From then on it’s all about improving my times year by year. My ultimate ambition is to win a world championship.

Talk us through your 2014 race schedule…

Well, I was supposed to race the Abu Dhabi Triathlon but, unfortunately, I couldn’t sort out my visa. After Ironman South Africa I’m currently planning to race Challenge Roth. However, my race schedule might change slightly as I’d like to target more Hawaii points.

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When we spoke to you a couple of weeks before Ironman South Africa you said you’d been racking up the miles in training on the Neurogen. Does this great result at South Africa change any of your training plans?

I will have a chat to my coach Rynard Tissink and we’ll look at the road ahead, with some of the races I have coming. Ironman South Africa was a big step up for me, as a newbie so now we know what I am physically capable of on a big day out we’ll fine tune the preparation a little. Right now I am focused on getting married and going on honeymoon!

What were your first thoughts on training with your new bike before your first event as a pro?

The 2014 SwiftCarbon Neurogen is super fast, stiff and very light – which is great for climbing. That stiffness really helps when the wind blows, and I find that, when I surge, all the power’s transferred to the wheel. I love the awesome matt carbon finish, too and it comes with Shimano’s 11-speed Di2.

My position’s also more aggressive. Having been fitted before on the Retul system as well as studying the course, I’ve a good grasp of my position and measurements.

And in competition – how did you feel as you came off the bike in Ironman South Africa? Did the Neurogen’s compliance forgive the road unevenness?

It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what it is that works. It definitely absorbs the road buzz really well and it makes a difference in how you fatigue on the bike. When I came off the bike I felt very comfortable having stayed in the aero position 95% of the ride and as soon as I jumped off to run my legs reacted very well. With the research and development gone into the design it definitely feels very aerodynamic.

Finally, where will you be predominantly riding the Neurogen?

Most of my training is in Cape Town and Stellenbosch, which is only a stone’s throw away. The training is incredible – in fact, some say it’s similar to Boulder, Colorado. Which is where I should be going later in the year, though we still need to finalise a few things.

We’re delighted about Kyle’s start with SwiftCarbon and we’ll keep you posted on his season.  

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PRO TRIATHLETE KYLE BUCKINGHAM RIDES SWIFTCARBON http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/pro-triathlete-kyle-buckingham-rides-swiftcarbon/ http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/pro-triathlete-kyle-buckingham-rides-swiftcarbon/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:44:05 +0000 Josse Vander-Bilson http://www.swiftcarbon.com/?p=4764 We are delighted to announce that 30-year-old South African Kyle Buckingham will race on the SwiftCarbon Neurogen tri bike for 2014. The Neurogen will provide the world-class platform he needs to make a mark in his debut professional season. ‘Officially welcoming Kyle, a fellow South African, to the SwiftCarbon team is a proud moment for us,’ says SwiftCarbon founder Mark Blewett. ‘We have high hopes for 2014 and wish Kyle all the best on his Neurogen, which is dialed in to suit his style of riding. When designing it, we insisted that it exceeded even the most critical of professional’s high standards.’ [...]

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We are delighted to announce that 30-year-old South African Kyle Buckingham will race on the SwiftCarbon Neurogen tri bike for 2014. The Neurogen will provide the world-class platform he needs to make a mark in his debut professional season.

‘Officially welcoming Kyle, a fellow South African, to the SwiftCarbon team is a proud moment for us,’ says SwiftCarbon founder Mark Blewett.

‘We have high hopes for 2014 and wish Kyle all the best on his Neurogen, which is dialed in to suit his style of riding. When designing it, we insisted that it exceeded even the most critical of professional’s high standards.’

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Buckingham captured the multisport world’s attention back in October 2013 when he finished an incredible 16th overall at the Ironman World Championships despite racing in the 30-34 age-group. On a hot day in Hawaii, he registered a stunning 8:37:26 for the 3.8km swim/180km bike/42.2km run course, which was not only the fastest by an age-grouper, but also just 25mins shy of Frederik Van Lierde’s overall winning time. It was this performance that cemented the decision to turn professional.

The move to work with SwiftCarbon gives him all the confidence he needs to step up to this ambition this year:

‘As for the short-term, I want to win a race – either a half or full Ironman distance – and do well in the Ironman pro rankings system,’ says Buckingham, ’I’m definitely looking forward to a great year with Mark Blewett and the SwiftCarbon team.

‘I find it also really good to work with someone having been around in professional cycling himself which tells me he definitely knows what he’s talking about.’

Buckingham is currently training on his SwiftCarbon Neurogen around the roads of his base in Port Elizabeth, in preparation for Ironman South Africa on Sunday 6 April. Then he’ll return to Cape Town, before heading to Boulder, Colorado, to prepare for a number of US races.

We’ll post a full interview with him soon – meanwhile, you’ll find out more about Kyle on his website.

 

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Exclusive Interview With Will Clarke http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/exclusive-interview-will-clarke/ http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/exclusive-interview-will-clarke/#comments Thu, 27 Mar 2014 12:48:07 +0000 Josse Vander-Bilson http://www.swiftcarbon.com/?p=4675 -   What was it like riding for Drapac in their first Tour Down Under? It was a really great experience to get to take part in Australia’s biggest race for an Aussie team. There was a great vibe amongst the riders, and we had a lot of fun during that week of racing.   -   Most Aggressive Rider! How did it feel to get that jersey?   It wasn’t really planned, but after spending the first two days in the break I just decided to go for it! Going into the last stage, I was equal with Jens [...]

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-   What was it like riding for Drapac in their first Tour Down Under?

It was a really great experience to get to take part in Australia’s biggest race for an Aussie team. There was a great vibe amongst the riders, and we had a lot of fun during that week of racing.

 

-   Most Aggressive Rider! How did it feel to get that jersey?  

It wasn’t really planned, but after spending the first two days in the break I just decided to go for it! Going into the last stage, I was equal with Jens Voigt so I just attacked really hard at the start and ended up in the break, and won it again. That was a really great moment.

 

-   What’s your advice to young racers for racing aggressively?

Well, it depends on team tactics and the race – if it’s a one day race, I’d say go all out ! But if it’s a tour you need to be a little more conservative and pick your best chance of making a breakaway.

 

-   Drapac have a number of young Australian riders who aren’t well-known outside of Australia – who should we look out for? 

Adam Phelan – I like the way he races and he is a great teammate. Also, Jordan Kerby (aka turtle man) is a really talented time trialist and I think he will go a long way in the sport.

 

-   What are your top three tips for youngsters trying to get into the sport?

1. Have patience

2. Don’t take it too seriously when you’re young

3. Enjoy it

 

-   What races are you most looking forward to this season – and why?

I’m looking forward to going to Azerbaijan – I think it will be a really interesting place to go. And I’m also looking forward to going to Japan – I like that race and I want to do well.

 

-   What are your top three training tips?

1. Resting is just as important as training

2. Cross training is good for cycling

3. Aim for 2-3 really quality cycling sessions per week

 

-   How do the SwiftCarbon bikes compare to the other bikes you’ve raced on?

I really like the road bike – it feels great on the descents and when I’m cornering. It’s also stiff enough to hold good power through to the pedals though.

 

-   You used to be a pretty big running star, so why did you decide to switch to cycling?

I wouldn’t say that! I was ok and really enjoyed it, but I had too many injuries with muscle tears and stress fractures, so I decided to give cycling a go, and quickly became addicted to it.

 

-   What keeps you cycling? What do you enjoy the most about it?

It might sound strange, but I really like to train on my own most of the time. I find it really relaxing.

 

-   What are your top 3 nutrition tips? 

1. Eat plenty of fruit and veggies

2. Drink plenty of fluid

3. Stay away from the fast food

 

-   It’s our round at the coffee shop, what can we get you?

Always Cappuccino, anytime of the day!

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SWIFTCARBON CONCEPT STORE OPENS IN MELBOURNE http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/concept-store-copy-saturday/ http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/concept-store-copy-saturday/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 16:08:41 +0000 Josse Vander-Bilson http://www.swiftcarbon.com/?p=4659 SwiftCarbon Australia launches its first concept store, spearheaded by current professional cyclist Jonathan Cantwell of Drapac Professional Cycling. Jonathan will be there to welcome the early birds, as the doors open on Saturday 15th March, in St Kilda at the Melbourne beachfront – a popular spot for cyclists skirting the bay on a beautiful day out on the bike. The store presents SwiftCarbon’s full range of mountain, TT/triathlon and road bikes, including the brand new super svelte SCULP (SwiftCarbon Ultra Light Project), built entirely in Germany. Even while racing as a professional, Cantwell managed to find the time to oversee the [...]

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SwiftCarbon Australia launches its first concept store, spearheaded by current professional cyclist Jonathan Cantwell of Drapac Professional Cycling.

Jonathan will be there to welcome the early birds, as the doors open on Saturday 15th March, in St Kilda at the Melbourne beachfront – a popular spot for cyclists skirting the bay on a beautiful day out on the bike.

The store presents SwiftCarbon’s full range of mountain, TT/triathlon and road bikes, including the brand new super svelte SCULP (SwiftCarbon Ultra Light Project), built entirely in Germany. Even while racing as a professional, Cantwell managed to find the time to oversee the challenging task of fitting out a high-end retail store.

For him it’s an investment in his future – looking forward to a career that progresses after racing. After racing in Europe with Saxo-Tinkoff, competing in the Tour de France and other major races on the European calendar, he decided to move back to Australia to ride for an Australian team, and to represent SwiftCarbon in his nation of origin. While still racing in Europe, he began talks with SwiftCarbon’s founder Mark Blewett, who sent him a SwiftCarbon Ultravox to test. He clearly liked it.

Free service

To celebrate this auspicious opening week, SwiftCarbon will be offering a free service tune-up for a year with the first 25 bikes bought before 23 March.

Win a frame!

Also, one lucky visitor to the store will win a SwiftCarbon Attack road or Drone TT frame. When you come in the store, answer this simple question and you’re in with a chance of winning the frame.

What superlight weight did the SCULP hit headlines for ducking under:

A) 1kg, B) 800g, C) sub-700g?

Jonathan and the team are looking forward to welcoming you to the new SwiftCarbon Concept Store – visit us at Shop 8B St Kilda Sea Baths, 20 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda, Melbourne.

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THE SCULP IS BORN http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/sculp-born/ http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/sculp-born/#comments Thu, 06 Mar 2014 10:53:33 +0000 Josse Vander-Bilson http://www.swiftcarbon.com/?p=4620 The SwiftCarbon Ultra Light Project is the product of our endeavour to produce the stiffest, lightest and most balanced road frames in the world. It’s a collaboration between our engineering head Boris Sirmanoff and AX-Lightness’ Axel Schnura. These long-time friends wanted to find out what was possible if they shared their ideas. They combined the very latest carbon fibre materials, the most advanced production processes and SwiftCarbon’s highly acclaimed geometry and ride tuning. The frames are designed, engineered and manufactured entirely in Germany. The SwiftCarbon Ultra Light Project is revealed – weighing in at 680g The result is a sub-700g [...]

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The SwiftCarbon Ultra Light Project is the product of our endeavour to produce the stiffest, lightest and most balanced road frames in the world. It’s a collaboration between our engineering head Boris Sirmanoff and AX-Lightness’ Axel Schnura.

These long-time friends wanted to find out what was possible if they shared their ideas. They combined the very latest carbon fibre materials, the most advanced production processes and SwiftCarbon’s highly acclaimed geometry and ride tuning. The frames are designed, engineered and manufactured entirely in Germany.

The Swift Carbon Ultra Light Project is revealed - weighing in at 680g
The SwiftCarbon Ultra Light Project is revealed – weighing in at 680g

The result is a sub-700g frame with stiffness-to-weight figures greater than the best brands in the sport (official test figures to follow). The first two frames to emerge from the mould were rushed to Taiwan, just in time for the Taipei International Cycle Show. Revealed on the 5th of March on the opening day, the medium-sized frame weighed in at 680g, fully painted and including cable stops and rear derailleur hanger. See the first launch article on bikeradar.com.

Smooth transitions from the uniquely profiled downtube to tough bottom bracket shell
Smooth transitions from the uniquely profiled downtube to tough bottom bracket shell

Boris Sirmanoff explained some of the tech behind the SCULP:

‘A range of carbon materials are used, including T-1000 and M46J, strategically and carefully applied to the appropriate positions in the laminate.

‘Also, the structural appearance (UD, 3K, 6k) and shape of the patches are optimised based on the function the patch has, within the whole of the laminate structure.’

The designers stress function is priority over form with the sub-700g SCULP, but it's still a thing of beauty
The designers stress function is priority over form with the sub-700g SCULP, but it’s still a thing of beauty

The SCULP took centre stage at the Taipei show alongside stablemates the Neurogen and Ultravox
The SCULP took centre stage at the Taipei show alongside stablemates the Neurogen and Ultravox

It adds up to an incredible piece of work with design, materials and production processes in perfect harmony. Contact us here to find out even more.

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DRAPAC PREPARE FOR TOUR DOWN UNDER AT AUSSIE NATIONALS http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/drapac-prepare-tour-aussie-nationals/ http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/drapac-prepare-tour-aussie-nationals/#comments Tue, 07 Jan 2014 17:31:33 +0000 Josse Vander-Bilson http://www.swiftcarbon.com/?p=4507 Wednesday 8 January kick-starts what promises to be an historic year for SwiftCarbon-riding Drapac. In their 10th year of racing, the Australian team head to Ballarat, Victoria, for the National Championships full of confidence after securing their UCI Pro-Continental licence late last year. Time trials dominate day one of five with Drapac’s 21-year-old Jordan Kerby looking to improve on his fourth place in the 2013 U23 event (28km). It’ll be Kerby’s debut for Drapac and first time racing SwiftCarbon’s Neurogen TT bike, which comes in 8% lighter and 12% stiffer than the 2013 version. It’ll be the same model used [...]

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Wednesday 8 January kick-starts what promises to be an historic year for SwiftCarbon-riding Drapac. In their 10th year of racing, the Australian team head to Ballarat, Victoria, for the National Championships full of confidence after securing their UCI Pro-Continental licence late last year.

Time trials dominate day one of five with Drapac’s 21-year-old Jordan Kerby looking to improve on his fourth place in the 2013 U23 event (28km). It’ll be Kerby’s debut for Drapac and first time racing SwiftCarbon’s Neurogen TT bike, which comes in 8% lighter and 12% stiffer than the 2013 version. It’ll be the same model used by the seniors later in the day over a 44km course where Drapac’s Jack Anderson, Lachie Norris and Will Clarke compete for honours. Drapac’s Jonathan Cantwell, Malcolm Rudolph and Adam Phelan race ‘Criterium Thursday’ with the U23 road category taking place on Saturday.

Young rider Jordan Kerby makes his Drapac debut at the Nationals

Young rider Jordan Kerby makes his Drapac debut at the Nationals

Jonathan Cantwell is set to be a key figure in the Drapac team in 2014

Jonathan Cantwell is set to be a key figure in the Drapac team in 2014

Men’s road race
But the highlight of the week’s schedule is Sunday’s men’s road race (183km) where Drapac will face Australian UCI Pro Team Orica-GreenEDGE. Orica’s Luke Durbridge will look to retain his crown, supported by teammates Simon Gerrans and Simon Clarke. BMC’s Cadel Evans and Team Sky’s Richie Porte will provide further world-class opposition against Drapac’s leading contenders including former winners Darren Lapthorne and Travis Meyer.

Drapac roll into the event in buoyant mood after a recent eight-day training camp in Bright, Victoria. Directeur Sportif Henk Vogels described the camp as intensive, including ‘a lot of motorpacing and a lot of climbing to simulate the terrain in Buninyong’.

The team also settled into riding SwiftCarbon’s flagship road bike, the Ultravox TI. One of the world’s biggest cycling websites, BikeRadar.com, followed the Drapac riders at their recent bike-fitting sessions, designed to maximise power output, aerodynamics and comfort between bike and rider.

Stiff and fantastic ride
Initial reports of rider-bike interplay are positive. ‘From talking to the boys, they all say it’s a very comfortable ride – stiff and fantastic,’ says Vogels – an understated assessment compared to Lapthorne’s. ‘I’ve never ridden anything quite like it before,’ says the 2007 Australian road race champion. ‘For my style of riding it’s incredibly light and responsive, especially when climbing.’

Bernard and Wesley Sulzberger are part of Team Drapac. Here's Wesley's Ultravox

Bernard and Wesley Sulzberger are part of Team Drapac. Here’s Wesley’s Ultravox

 

That's dedication!

That’s dedication!It’s exactly the top-end performance Drapac are seeking as they take one step closer to their ambition of racing a Grand Tour in 2016. It’d be an incredible achievement for a team whose ethos is unique in professional cycling. They’re not singularly focused on creating champion cyclists but champion people, too, placing equal emphasis on athletic, social, career and personal development.‘We’re proud to be partnering with Drapac Professional Cycling,’ says former pro cyclist and owner of South African bike brand SwiftCarbon, Mark Blewett. ‘The team has achieved some outstanding results on the basis of a unique philosophy.’Blewett believes Drapac show the tenacity that propelled him to the professional bike circuit in the early 90s. The South African overcame international sporting boycotts against the apartheid regime to forge a successful racing career in Europe. While that curtain closed, his love of cycling remained and come 2008 he launched SwiftCarbon bikes. Seeing that the finest proponents of carbon resided in China, he upped sticks to Xiamen to oversee the production, development and quality control of SwiftCarbon’s world-leading road, TT and mountain bikes.
Lining up alongside the likes of Evans and Porte at the Australian Champs shows how far SwiftCarbon and Drapac have come, but the true gauge of their progress is two weeks later at the Tour Down Under (19-26 January 2014).Meet the team
As Drapac touched ground after their Bright training camp, we caught up with Vogels and Lapthorne to check TDU preparations…Please share with us your thoughts on becoming the first Australian Pro Continental team to compete in the Tour Down Under
Henk Vogels: It’s historic and overdue. It’s our most important race of the year, and it’s made our boys more motivated. It’s bringing the team up to another level. We’re racing with the big boys.

Darren Lapthorne: It’s very exciting, especially for me being a part of Drapac for as long as I have. I started my cycling career with the team and realistically I will end my career with this team as well.

Tell us more about the challenges faced at the Tour Down Under
HV: In the past it’s been a sprinter’s race but now it includes Willunga [fierce climb on stage five], it’s generally the strongest guy who wins. Whoever can go up Willunga the quickest and whether that be Valverde or Gerrans or someone else who is a punchy climber – it’s their race. It’s certainly a very hard race to be doing early in the season with the pro teams vying for the WorldTour number one spot.

What would be a positive result for Drapac?
HV: To be in 80 percent of the breakaways. I would be content with that but not happy. A stage win and a couple of podiums would be fantastic.

From a fan’s perspective, who are you excited to see racing?
HV: It’s exciting to be racing the A-team of Orica-GreenEdge, as there’s a bit of a rivalry developing already.

DL: I raced a lot of the WorldTour guys when I was in Europe. But I think our biggest challenges will come from the Aussie guys because we’ve such a big advantage being in the Australian summer. The Australian guys who race the Nationals should be in contention – possibly Cadel Evans and Simon Gerrans. I’m also looking forward to competing against Thomas Voeckler. I’ve always admired his style and I’ve never raced against him.

[caption id="attachment_4522" align="alignnone" width="640"]Individual and team time trials will be an important part of Drapac's offering in 2014… Individual and team time trials will be an important part of Drapac’s offering in 2014…

 

 

 

 

…and the Drapac team are well equipped with their Neurogens

…and the Drapac team are well equipped with their Neurogens

 

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ULTRAVOX TI BLUE – LIMITED EDITION AVAILABLE in 2014 http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/ultravox-ti-blue-limited-edition-available-2014/ http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/ultravox-ti-blue-limited-edition-available-2014/#comments Fri, 20 Dec 2013 11:01:40 +0000 Josse Vander-Bilson http://www.swiftcarbon.com/?p=4465 Clamour – that’s the only word to describe events on the SwiftCarbon Facebook page at the end of October. A snapshot of the Ultravox TI in SwiftCarbon blue left the burgeoning SwiftCarbon community open-mouthed and demanding more. ‘Should be a crime to have something look that good,’ said Johan Fouche Cilliers. ‘It is all seven types of awesome… Gimme. Gimme. Gimme,’ wrote Paul Rhodes. ‘If they release that colour, I’m all over it! What are the chances, SwiftCarbon Bikes?’ asked Justin Hodges. Well, Justin, thanks to yours and your fellow riders’ cascade of compliments and positive feedback, the blue version [...]

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Clamour – that’s the only word to describe events on the SwiftCarbon Facebook page at the end of October. A snapshot of the Ultravox TI in SwiftCarbon blue left the burgeoning SwiftCarbon community open-mouthed and demanding more.

‘Should be a crime to have something look that good,’ said Johan Fouche Cilliers.

‘It is all seven types of awesome… Gimme. Gimme. Gimme,’ wrote Paul Rhodes.

‘If they release that colour, I’m all over it! What are the chances, SwiftCarbon Bikes?’ asked Justin Hodges.

Well, Justin, thanks to yours and your fellow riders’ cascade of compliments and positive feedback, the blue version of the 2014 Ultravox Ti is now available – but you’re going to have to be even swifter than Sergio Marques at Challenge Barcelona if you’re to own one of these truly special bikes. That’s because they’re limited edition, only for the 2014 season. SwiftCarbon founder and former professional cyclist Mark Blewett is the brains behind this unique offering. We caught up with him to find out more about the bike that nearly crashed Facebook…

Mark, the blue version of the Ultravox has caused quite a stir. What were the reasons behind this special-edition bike?

‘People are growing a little bored of the black-on-black bikes that have been trending for the last few years, and are ready – almost demanding – something more colourful.

‘That blue colourway is also synonymous with SwiftCarbon – cyan is pretty much our official colour – so we wanted that as a platform. Cyan permeates the 2014 range, seeping through to the Neurogen and Ultravox RS-1 bikes.

‘It’s clearly subtler on those two but, with the all-cyan blue glossy frame of the Blue, we wanted a showstopper of a bike that really stands out. Achieving that aim was more difficult than you’d think. To attain the shade of blue we were after and give it that “electric blue” feel, we had to use a special “Azko Nobel” super-light paint.’

How many of these limited-edition blue bikes will be rolled out?

‘We’re restricting production to just 100 framesets for the 2014 season. Drapac Pro Cycling [who’ll race the Tour Down Under, 19-26 January 2014] will also be riding these cyan frames as their second bikes, so 100 of you and the Drapac riders will be the envy of a truly global audience.

‘From the Facebook release two months ago, demand is beginning to match interest, and we’ve already started taking pre-orders from customers around the world.’

What’s the price of the blue version?

‘The price of the Cyan Team Edition bike is 20% higher than the current black Ultravox model. That’s predominantly down to the painting and masking process, which takes almost three times longer to finish than the original TI bike. We’ve also refined the finishing detail. Examples include the blue anodized titanium water bottle-cage screws, two Elite special-edition Blue cages, as well as a special-edition Blue seatpost that will come with the frame.’

Want one? Get in touch with your dealer for more details.

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SWIFTCARBON POWERS NFTO PRO http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/swiftcarbon-powers-nfto-pro/ http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/swiftcarbon-powers-nfto-pro/#comments Wed, 20 Nov 2013 11:04:14 +0000 Josse Vander-Bilson http://www.swiftcarbon.com/?p=4431 SwiftCarbon caused quite a stir in cycling’s burgeoning online community recently when popular cycling websites bikeradar.com and cyclingnews.com posted a story showing former Team Sky rider Russell Downing taking delivery of his SwiftCarbon Ultravox TI. The 35-year-old is heading up NFTO – Not For The Ordinary – a UK team that’s grown from a local trade squad offering young cyclists the chance to compete competitively, to securing their licence to race on the UCI Continental Tour in 2014. Along with the rest of his teammates, Downing, who competed for Endura Racing last season and also completed his first-ever Paris-Roubaix, will race [...]

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SwiftCarbon caused quite a stir in cycling’s burgeoning online community recently when popular cycling websites bikeradar.com and cyclingnews.com posted a story showing former Team Sky rider Russell Downing taking delivery of his SwiftCarbon Ultravox TI.

The 35-year-old is heading up NFTO – Not For The Ordinary – a UK team that’s grown from a local trade squad offering young cyclists the chance to compete competitively, to securing their licence to race on the UCI Continental Tour in 2014.

Along with the rest of his teammates, Downing, who competed for Endura Racing last season and also completed his first-ever Paris-Roubaix, will race on the Ultravox, which has been given a custom paintjob to match the branding of NFTO.

The media were united in their praise of the Ultravox, stating that the link with SwiftCarbon was ‘an indication surely that this team means business’. They continued by applauding the bespoke artwork, focusing in particular on Downing’s bike, which has ‘Russ Downing British Criterium Champion’ emblazoned on the underside of the top tube.

Brothers in arms

Russ isn’t the only high-profile rider who’ll be competing for NFTO Pro Cycling in 2014. He’s joined by his brother Dean, who’s signed from UK team Madison-Genesis. It’ll be the first time the famous Downing brothers have raced together on the same squad since 2006. They’ve also recruited Adam Blythe. The 24-year-old Brit joins from BMC Racing for whom he took fourth overall at this year’s Tour of Qatar.

News of SwiftCarbon’s involvement follows the announcement at the end of last month that we’re now supplying bikes to Australian professional cycling team, Drapac.

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PEREIRA’S RECORD-BREAKING DEBUT http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/pereiras-record-breaking-debut/ http://www.swiftcarbon.com/news/pereiras-record-breaking-debut/#comments Wed, 13 Nov 2013 10:24:09 +0000 Josse Vander-Bilson http://www.swiftcarbon.com/?p=4406 Portugal’s Vanessa Pereira signed up with SwiftCarbon in 2012, signaling her intent to one day become a professional Ironman athlete. The 25-year-old had previously excelled in the age-group ranks winning her category at Ironman South Africa 2011, before finishing fourth in the 20-24 age group at Ironman Hawaii 2012. That result gave Pereira the confidence to make her dreams come true and take the next step in 2013… And it’s been a strong arrival on the elite scene for Pereira. On a domestic level, she retained the Portuguese long-distance championships, as well as winning the demanding long-course race in Madeira [...]

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Portugal’s Vanessa Pereira signed up with SwiftCarbon in 2012, signaling her intent to one day become a professional Ironman athlete. The 25-year-old had previously excelled in the age-group ranks winning her category at Ironman South Africa 2011, before finishing fourth in the 20-24 age group at Ironman Hawaii 2012. That result gave Pereira the confidence to make her dreams come true and take the next step in 2013…

And it’s been a strong arrival on the elite scene for Pereira. On a domestic level, she retained the Portuguese long-distance championships, as well as winning the demanding long-course race in Madeira – an island that has a fine triathlon heritage, hosting as it did the 2004 World Olympic-Distance Championships.

The world stage

But it’s on the international scene that you’re judged by your elite contemporaries and Pereira’s shown plenty to suggest she’ll be a force to be reckoned with in 2014. Highlights included 10th at the Long Distance World Championships in Belfort, France, and an impressive 13th at the ever-competitive Challenge Roth.

However, it was at the ETU Long-Distance European Championships near the season’s end that Pereira began to realise her immense potential with a fantastic fifth. A 180km bike consumed in 5:20hrs on her SwiftCarbon Neurogen set her up for an historic time of 9:51:03, which smashed the Portuguese national record. Tenth at Challenge Barcelona sealed a fine elite debut season.

Reflecting on 2013, Pereira was in philosophical mood: ‘Success seems to be overnight but only I know how many hours I’ve spent in recent years, and it’s so nice to see the results appear. It makes it worth every drop of sweat, every drop of rain.’

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