Stage 1: Lourensford to Oak Valley

The 2017 FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Events will kick off at the picturesque Lourensford Wine Estate on Friday, 27 October 2017 with Stage One of the FNB W2W MTB Adventure.

The first of three stages, Stage One boasts a spectacular 68km route that features an impressive 1650m ascent.

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“Iconic sections will include the Lourensford and Vergelegen climbs, the PERI Vergelegen Bridge, the portage over Gantouw Pass and the A2Z single tracks,” says Johan Kriegler, FNB W2W MTB Director. “The Lourensford climb with downhill is the best gravel highway in South Africa. Expect good gravel roads, jeep tracks and single tracks. The good news is that the Gantouw Pass is the only portage section on the FNB W2W route and it features on Stage One. It is rocky.”

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Riders tackling the Lourensford climb. Photo credit: Tobias Ginsberg.

“We’ve made some changes to the A2Z trails,” continues Kriegler. “Sections B and C are more flowing, while W has been excluded due to it being too technical. Instead we’ve extended V, adding a more flowing downhill exit. We’ve also included three new single tracks in Molteno. The rest of Molteno however has changed, as not to interfere with farm activities.”

“My advice to first time riders is to pace well. Stage One starts with the 8km Lourensford climb. Don’t get pulled into the hype and frenzy of other riders. Cycle your own pace. Remember there is still another 60km to go. Be careful at the Lourensford downhill after the climb, it’s very fast with sharp turns and occasional ruts. Most importantly savor the moment. Enjoy the route, the scenery and the experience. We look forward to welcoming you to your race village at Oak Valley Wine Estate, your home for three days.”

Stage 2: Play day


Stage Two ‘Play Day’ of the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Events promises to live up to its reputation.

The only Stage to start and finish at the same location, Oak Valley Wine Estate, Stage Two features a fun 71km route with a 1350m ascent.

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“This stage has changed slightly since 2016,” says Johan Kriegler, FNB W2W MTB Director. “Oak Valley has added a new section named ‘Sounds of Silence’. There is a new link over to Paul Cluver. Paul Cluver has added Rietvlei, Witklippies 1 and Oak Valley added the last 6km on the fast and flowing River Run. Iconic sections to look out for include single tracks and bridges with names such as Waterfall, Vissie’s Magic, JK’s Edge, Sounds of Silence, Rietvlei, Witklippies 1 & 2, Raka, Swing, Ark, Cobra, Mamba, Boomslang, Pofadder, Jakkels, River Run and the much loved PERI-KROMCO Playpark.”

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The KROMCO-PERI Bike Park. Photo credit: Tobias Ginsberg.

“We have many stories to share about this stage,” continues Kriegler. “‘Sounds of Silence’ is the name of one of Oak Valley’s wine ranges. This single track section was originally built by late Oak Valley winemaker/viticulturist and W2W friend, Pieter Visser (Vissie). It hasn’t, however, been used for a decade. We’ve redirected the last part, creating a scenic and fun flowing single track via a pine forest, over a dam wall and along the dam. Paul Cluver has increased the height of the Rietvlei Dam with 9 meters, creating a new and interesting contour link with many new single track opportunities. ‘Sounds of Silence’ was built in partnership between Cape Trails and the Oak Valley team, as was Rietvlei between Cape Trails and the Paul Cluver team.”

“In order to enjoy ‘Play Day’ to its fullest, I advise riders to improve their single track skill by attending coaching classes. If however, they are afraid of heights, best they attend some hypnotherapy treatments as well,” laughs Kriegler. “Stage Two is a lot of fun. It is called ‘Play Day’ for a reason. Riders are in for a real treat.”

Stage 3: Oak Valley to Onrust


The third and final stage of the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Events will guide mountain bikers on a 71km journey from Oak Valley Wine Estate to Onrust Caravan Park where the finish line awaits.

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“The second destination stage of the FNB W2W MTB Events, Stage Three perfectly rounds off three days of spectacular mountain biking,” says Johan Kriegler, FNB W2W MTB Director. “Iconic sections to look out for on route will include passing the Houw Hoek Inn, the oldest hotel in South Africa, meandering through the quaint town of Botriver past the Botriver School, experiencing the magnificent Wildekrans and Hermanus Trails, Gaf-se-Bos, the Fruitways-Onrust Beach Crossing and the PERI-Onrust river crossing to name just a few.”

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Riders pass through Botrivier.

“Riders can look forward to varied terrain which will include gravel sections, jeep track, single tracks and even a pallet beach crossing,” continues Kriegler. “My advice is to pace well. The first 38km up until the SteelBridge is fast and fairly easy. The real race starts after this section. On a high note, riders will finally be greeted by spectacular ocean views before crossing the finish line at Onrust Caravan Park.”