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Christoph Sauser and Konny Looser of Team Meerendal-SONGO-Specialized/Wheeler claimed the Stage One victory at the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Race on Friday, 07 November 2014 crossing the finish line first in an awe-inspiring time of 03 hours 09 minutes 34 seconds. // Credit: Volume Photography.

Christoph Sauser and Konny Looser of Team Meerendal-SONGO-Specialized/Wheeler took no prisoners, crossing the finish line first in an awe-inspiring time of 03 hours 09 minutes 34 seconds, just over 7 minutes ahead of their closest rivals. According to Sauser, it’s great to claim his first Wines2Whales stage win. “Today was very good and we are very happy to have won by a big margin. I’ve been in Italy on holiday for a month and have done very little training. Luckily I like to stay fit for fun. I’ve been looking forward to riding with Konny and am very happy to have won the stage for songo.info. Now we will work hard to defend it. This is definitely one of my favorite events”. Rourke Croeser and Travis Walker of Team Kargo Pro Team came in second, while Johann Rabie and Gawie Combrink of Team EAI Cycling finished third.

The mixed team race was dominated by Ashleigh Moolman and Darren Lill of Team Cannondale Blend powered by RED-E, who crossed the finish line in 03 hours 46 minutes 55 seconds. “It was awesome out there,” said Moolman. “The hardest part for me was the portage section. My fitness was definitely lacking. Darren is a great partner and I am really enjoying the race so far”. Fienie and Kobus Barnard of Team Kromco1 came in second, while Mariske Strauss and Hannes Hanekom of Team Giant/Orange Monkey finished third.

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Jennie Stenerhag and Candice Neethling of Team Team Cape Brewing Company/Time Freight Velolife claimed victory in the women’s category at Stage One of the FNB Wines2Whales Mountain Bike Race on Friday, 07 November 2014 crossing the finish line first in an awe-inspiring time of 03 hours 48 minutes 03 seconds. Candice Neethline in action on the day. // Credit: Volume Photography.

Jennie Stenerhag and Candice Neethling of Team Team Cape Brewing Company/Time Freight Velolife claimed victory in the women’s race in a well-deserved time of 03 hours 48 minutes 03 seconds. “The stage was beautiful,” said Neethling. “It was really tough, but beautiful. The portage section was really hard, while the trails were really enjoyable. Our strengths are nicely matched. All in all it was a beautiful day”. Robyn De Groot and Catherine Williamson of Team Biogen Toyota Asrin Cycling came in second, while Theresa Ralph and Jeannie Dreyer of Team Tribe Suunto USN finished third.

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Riders in action during Stage One of the FNB Wines2Whales Mountain Bike Race on Friday, 07 November 2014. // Credit: Cherie Vale / Newsport Media.

“Stage Two will be a Play Day for riders,” said Johan Kriegler, FNB W2W MTB Director. “They will get to experience the best bridges and structures built for the sport of mountain biking. Spectacular bridges to look out for will include Witklippies, Raka, Swing, Ark, Mamba, Boomslang and Pofadder. I don’t need to tell these riders to keep off of the breaks. They know how to enjoy these sections to the utmost. They will also get their first taste of the Peri Kromco Play Park”.

FNB Wines2Whales MTB Race Stage One results available here.