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Defending men’s champion Renay Groustra and team mate, Nico Pfitzenmaier of Team RSA / Web Bridge claimed victory at what was a blistering fast paced Stage One of the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Race on Friday, 08 November 2013 crossing the finish line in 03hours14minutes26seconds. Seen here: Renay Groustra in action during Stage One of the FNB W2W MTB Race on Friday, 08 November 2013. PHOTO CREDIT ~ Cherie Vale / NEWSPORT MEDIA

Groustra and Pfitzenmaier completed the 76km stage from Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West) to Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin) in 03hours14minutes26seconds. According to Groustra, up until the first climb the lead bunch consisted of five teams that weren’t pushing too hard. “By the time we reached the portage section at Gantouw Pass we were narrowed down to three leading teams. Nico took off like a grey hound out of the starting block, with me holding on for dear life. Once we reached the single track we just kept the pressure on, trying to keep the gap. Nico’s bike got a flat, we kept composure and within 30 seconds we were both back on our bikes again. We really road well together today,” said Groustra.

“We’ll focus on recovering well tonight,” said Pfitzenmaier. “Stage Two is quite physical with lots of ups and downs. We’re looking forward to the new bridges at Paul Cluver and the fun single track. For sure we’ll be going for another stage win”. Darren Lill and Andrew Hill of Team Cannondale Blend came in second, while Erik Kleinhans and Waylon Woolcock of Team RE∙CM finished third.

Yolande Speedy and Paul Cordes of Team asg MTB Academy were the mixed team to beat on the day, crossing the finish line in a time of 03hours53minutes. “Stage One was beautiful, with great technical single track,” said Speedy. “My legs battled today. Paul was really strong and pulled me through. We had a good, fun day of racing”. Tandi Kitching and Niel Du Pisani of Team Bro Sis came in second, while Sunet Geldenhuys and Vaughn Roux of Team The Surgical Institute finished third.

Yolande De Villiers and Jennie Stenerhage of TEAM ISUZU 1 lead from the start in the women’s race. “Today was awesome with beautiful single track,” said De Villiers. “This is the first time that I take part in the FNB W2W MTB Race as part of a women’s team. Women are just more in-tune with each other. When riding with a male team member, he is always the stronger rider which means the female rider is always pushed into the red. Stage Two is the single track stage. We’ll look how it goes”. De Villiers and Stenerhage crossed the finish line in 03hours53minutes21seconds. Ashleigh Moffatt and Candice Neethling of Team BMC Velolife came in second, while Hanlie Booyens and Sharom Laws of Team Food Lovers Market 5 finished third.

NEXT UP: Stage Two / Saturday, 09 November 2013

68km / 1350m Elevation Gain

The Official Food Supplier of the FNB W2W MTB events, Food Lover’s Market is known for placing great emphasis on value, quality and an exceptional retail experience. At the FNB W2W MTB events Food Lover’s Market will be meeting all the essential food requirements of the riders over the three day period both on route and in the race village.

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