SwiftCarbon Auctions one-of-a-kind Ultravox SSL
The story of this one-of-a-kind bike began in April 2012, with SwiftCarbon set to enter a new era, a step up to the next level in the company’s development. Founder Mark Blewett had just launched the Ultravox, which received rave reviews from the media, and it was a chance to step up – from a garage industry business into the big league. It was a time of bullish optimism.The first step was to prove the bikes were ready to race at the highest level. Blewett happened to be in touch with Jonathan Cantwell – an Australian sprinter riding for Saxo Bank at the time – and the two had hit it off. In one of their many conversations about bikes, racing and life, Blewett suggested he try out the Ultravox. He fell in love with it.
The next chain of events happened at the pace at which Cantwell had led his life as a dyed in the wool sprinter – at 100mph. With Cantwell’s contract expiring, and with two small children, he was engineering his next move – taking a gig closer to home, and sowing the seeds for a life after pro cycling. He catalysed a sponsorship deal between SwiftCarbon and his new team Drapac Professional Cycling. He opened SwiftCarbon Australia. He set up a brand concept store in St Kilda, Melbourne. And, still racing at the highest level, he was also running a business.
But the final years of Cantwell’s pro career ended prematurely. In a perfect storm of well-publicised, lifechanging events, combined with the challenge of readjusting to a more sedentary life after a successful pro career (an all too common theme), the downward spiral had begun.
Reactions to the stunning finality of the news of his passing in the morning’s headlines were virtually universal – ‘too soon’, ‘unnecessary’, ‘if only we’d known...’ A deeper dread followed. We’d let another slip away from us, and how many more will we lose?
if there was ever a silver lining to the terrible loss of a such a bright soul, it’s that his passing has added momentum to a shifting collective consciousness. Attitudes towards mental illness are now more of inclusiveness and frankness, and we are shedding the damning and alienating stigma. We are finally talking about it.
There is little more public proof of this, in sport, than when Jenny Rissveds stood on the top step of the podium at this year’s UCI World Cup MTB in Lenzerheide – a comeback story in real time. In her interview she said, “2 years ago I didn’t want to live...” It was a moment in humanity that will (and should) never be forgotten as we witnessed an age-old taboo scattered to the four winds. Opening up isn’t just about surviving, it can be about thriving.
In this continuing spirit, we wanted to honour Jono’s life, painting a special, one-of-a-kind Ultravox, his favourite. The proceeds of the sale of the bike will be given to various causes related to those supporting mental health. With a matter so close to our hearts, there was much debate about the frame’s design. In the end, the sentiment of openness and honesty prevailed. We wanted to continue to raise awareness of this important issue and to maintain the energy of the movement, to encourage dialogue, and for everyone to watch out for one another.
Emblazoned large on the top tube is ‘IT’S OK TO NOT BE OK’ – a phrase that’s gained worldwide momentum, giving comfort and empowering those suffering from depression. The bike is painted in pure white (for peace), decaled in green (for hope), and the letters ‘JC’ lie alongside our motto ALWAYS RACING. Knowing Jono, wherever he is now, he still is.
Mavic Cosmic Carbon wheels
Bid on this one-of-a-kind bike here: SwiftCarbon Ultravox JC Edition Auction
Auction begins 8:01pm GMT 31 October and ends 8:01pm GMT 21 November.
Profits of the bike will be donated to the following charities:
- Lifeline in Australia
- Samaritans in the UK
- PUKA Up
- charity of choice for the eventual highest bidder