Fondly referred to as the ‘Play Day’, Stage Two consisted of a 67km route that featured the best bridges and structures built for the sport of mountain biking including the much loved Paul Cluver Amphi Bike Park and the madly creative Peri-Kromco Play Park.
“The first part of the race was open gravel. No one seemed to want to create speed, so Rourke Croeser and I took control,” said Looser. “Having a good Stage One lead, the other team had to make up speed. I could see Travis was struggling, but Rourke was pushing hard. It was at King Of The Mountain that Sauser started to sprint, so I just followed. The stage was super fun with nice single trails. The nice thing about the stage not being so long is that you can go harder and try everything. Sauser has been my idol since I started riding at the age of ten. It’s a real honor for me to be riding Wines2Whales with him”. Rourke Croeser and Travis Walker of Team Kargo Pro Team came in second, while Hanco-Kachelhoffer and Chris Wolhunter of Team Altech Autopage Pro Cycling finished third.
In the women’ field Robyn De Groot and Catherine Williamson of Team Biogen Toyota / Asrin Cycling were the team to beat crossing the finish line in an impressive time of 03 hours 42 seconds. “I’ve never ridden anything like this before,” said De Groot. “Stage Two featured the most amazing trails from start to finish. It was fast and smooth, absolute bliss for any mountain biker. I’ve only heard good things about the Wines2Whales. After two days of riding, the event is definitely living up to its reputation”. Jennie Stenerhag and Candice Neethling of Team Cape Brewing Company / Time freight Velolife came in second, while Theresa Ralph and Jeannie Dreyer of Team Tribe Suunto USN finished third.
Ashleigh Moolman and Darren Lill of Team Cannondale Blend powered by RED-E claimed their second victory in the mixed team category completing the stage in a well-deserved time of 03 hours 04 minutes 46 seconds. According to Moolman, her lack of experience showed on the single track. “I am just happy to have stayed up right. The stage is beautiful with flowing single track. It was a nice day and I managed to stay within myself. Wines2Whales is a wonderful event and I’d love to experience more”. Fienie and Kobus Barnard of Team Kromco1 came in second, while Mariske Strauss and Hannes Hanekom of Team Giant/Orange Monkey finished third.
Full results from Stage Two available here.
According to Johan Kriegler, FNB W2W MTB Director, the two most challenging sections on the Stage Three route are the Houwhoek Switchback Single Tracks and the infamous Hamilton Russel climb, which is the last major climb of the FNB W2W MTB Events, just after the third water-point.
Start: Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)
Finish: Onrus Caravan Park (just outside Hermanus)
Start Time: 07:00
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