RACE REPORT | Signal Bikes Thrive at Wines2Whales

The Wines2Whales is stage racing at its best. An awesome route coupled with a superb off-the-bike experience makes it a highlight on South Africa's event calendar.


Signal Bikes was thrilled to be a part of this year's W2W commissioning a pair of 2023 PROs to be custom painted in Joburg by acclaimed graffiti artist 'Bias', and piloted by Oli Munnik and Charl Neethling who formed part of the Ciovita x Sealand squad.

 

THE BIKES
Signal x Bias

Oli and Charl raced the W2W aboard a pair of custom painted 2023 Signal PROs. The radical designs were conceptualised and hand sprayed by a celebrated Joburg graffiti artist who goes by the tag 'Bias'. 

Bias has been performing his work above and literally below the gritty, yet beautiful misunderstood streets of Johannesburg for the last two decades. Since 2012 he has located and painted over 1000 bridges and tunnels and has been proclaimed by many as the virgin concrete king and documentarian of Johannesburg.

Bias focuses on large scale, beautiful and extremely vividly coloured murals as well as traditional graffiti lettering and characters. Follow his work and keep up to date with events and guided graffiti tours via his Instagram page: @bias

🚲  Earth, Water, Wind & Fire

Bias describes Earth, Water, Wind & Fire:


“Much like in graffiti, we have the four elements of hip hop. In riding you see many variable landscapes and I wanted to capture this with this Signal PRO frame.
Earth is the scorched earth effect you see on the top seat stay (this was done using multiple layers of a special acrylic); Water on the main downward tube; Wind in the leaves blowing on the top tube; and Fire on the chain stay. Fire is almost always done as the typical flames but I wanted it to show some movement and be much simpler”.

🚲  Urban Camo

Says Bias:


“This design uses a layered effect with holographic spray-in-the-dark elements. I wanted to create something funky and edgy for this off-road excursion”.

THE BOYS
Fast Facts

With a background in track, fixed gear and gravel, Charl is literally brand new to MTB stage racing, with the Wines2Whales being his first-ever multiday event on South African soil (his first being the Swiss Epic in August this year).

Like a duck taking to water, Neethling navigated the route with the nuance of a veteran, tackling the terrain aboard his stunningly painted Signal PRO like a boss.

Racing alongside Charl was Oli 'Pinner' Munnik, a former winner of the Wines2Whales and no stranger to the MTB stage race scene. Together the pair worked as one, ensuring they brought the best out of each other.

Charl Neethling
Riding for 10 years
IG: @charl_i_am 
Hometown: Cape Town

Day Job:  Marketing Manager

Bike: Signal Bikes x Bias 
Earth, Water, Wind & Fire edition

Tyres: Maxxis Rekon Race 29x2.35" Tan Wall 

Favourite Riding Spot: Table Mountain's Trail Network

W2Ws: 1
Oli Munnik
Riding for 23 years
IG: @olimunnik

Hometown: Cape Town

Day Job: Marketing Manager

Bike: Signal Bikes x Bias
Urban Camo Edition


Tyres: Maxxis Rekon Race 29x2.35" Tan Wall

Favourite Riding Spot: Kirstenbosch Corridor and Green Belts 

W2Ws: 6
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THE KIT
Vinnig with Vinyl 

With today's life in the fast lane, long lead times can be a significant challenge when wanting to create custom branded cycling kit.

The W2W Ciovita x Sealand outfits were branded using Ciovita's custom vinyl program that takes just days to complete once artwork is approved. 


Check it out here.

THE SQAUD
Ciovita x Sealand

From left to right, Oli, Charl, Lauren, Neil, Abdul and Zandi formed the Ciovita x Sealand squad, taking on the 2022 Wines2Whales in style with stand-out Ciovita colour-ways for each stage.

THE RACE
All In

Charl and Oli immediately found their rhythm, riding consistently from start to finish each day, not taking any risks that would compromise their race.

As the dust settled, after three days dicing at the front end of the W2W Pinotage, Charl and Oli finished 2nd overall behind veteran Erik Kleinhans and Johan Cronje, with Johan Badenhorst and Jarrett West rounding out the podium in 3rd. 

With thanks to Ciovita, Lyne Components and POC for making the project a reality

Photography by Zac ZinnSi Pocock & Sam Clarke