Riders would need to complete a character testing 69km route before crossing the finish line at Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin). Team RECM’s Neil MacDonald and Waylon Woolcock proved to be fighting fit completing the stage in an impressive time of 03hours25minutes51seconds. According to MacDonald stage one was super tough. “It’s been a while since Waylon and I have raced at top level. It was super hot out on the course, the guys at the back are sure to take strain. Our toughest competition on the day was Renay Groustra and Matthys Beukes. Matthys is good on the climbs, so we needed to do our best to limit our losses on the portage section. It’s super to win the stage. We will however be more conservative on day two and then just take it from there,” says MacDonald. Team Blend Property Group came in second, while Team RSA Web / Cango MTB finished third.

Hanlie Booyens and Yolande Speedy of Team Momentum Specialised Insurance Ladies had a superb race completing the stage in 03hours57minutes23seconds. For Booyens being able to bring her side on the day was very pleasing. “I had a knee operation in March this year and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with Yolande. This is the first time that we get to ride together as a team and I have a huge amount of respect for her. Stage one’s route is definitely tougher than in previous years. I really enjoyed it though, you feel alive out there. We were hoping for a podium, so a win is a nice surprise. We’re definitely not under any pressure to win, we’re riding to enjoy ourselves,” says Booyens. Team Bizhub Ladies came in second, while Team Contego Ladies finished third.

Carla van Huyssteen and Philip Buys of Team USA Inov-8 took the top spot on the podium in the mixed team category with a finishing time of 04hours43seconds. “Philip is so strong,” says an exhausted Carla. “I realized today that it definitely helps to have a strong male partner. Towards the end he asked me if I wanted to hold onto his bike. This is such a cool event. The route is technical with really nice single track. I might not be that strong on the flats, but I can definitely make up on the single track. As for stage two, we will just have to see what’s in the legs,” says Van Huyssteen. Team J&Y came in second, while Team Gogo and Gramps finished third.

STAGE TWO:

Date: Saturday, 10 November 2012

Distance: 65km

Start Time: 07h00 (in seeded groups)

Start: Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin)

Finish: Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin)

Prizes up for grabs compliments of our incredible sponsors will include: 1x KTM Phinx 2.29 mountain bike (Valued at R 25 995), Suunto Ambits, ION AIR PRO action cameras, Maserati vouchers (this includes a track day and lunch with Maserati), Mizuno shoe vouchers, Thule travel product and hampers from ProNutro Active, REHIDRAT® SPORT and First Ascent.

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For more information on the Contego Wines2Whales MTB Race powered by Maserati e-mail entries@wines2whales.co.za or visit www.wines2whales.co.za

Waylon Woolcock.jpg

Team RECM’s Neil MacDonald and Waylon Woolcock proved to be fighting fit completing the 69km stage one of the 2012 Contego Wines2Whales MTB Race powered by Maserati in an impressive time of 03hours25minutes51seconds, taking the top spot on the podium. Seen here: Waylon Woolcock Neil MacDonald going over the compulsory portage over Gantouw Pass. Photo Credit ~ Jetline Action Photo

Yolande Speedy and Hanlie Booyens.jpg

Hanlie Booyens and Yolande Speedy of Team Momentum Specialised Insurance Ladies had a superb race completing the 69km stage in 03hours57minutes23seconds. Seen here (from left to right): Yolande Speedy and Hanlie Booyens. Photo Credit ~ Peter Kirk Media

Carla Van Huyssteen.jpg

Carla van Huyssteen and Philip Buys of Team USA Inov-8 took the top spot on the podium in the mixed team category with a finishing time of 04hours43seconds. Seen here: Carla van Huyssteen going over the compulsory portage over Gantouw Pass. Photo Credit ~ Peter Kirk Media