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  1. Photo credit: Greg Beadle. To ensure the safety of their fellow riders all E-Bikers, and their non-pedal assisted partners, will start in the event’s final batch. But they will be able to ride the entire route and with a battery swap service (conditional to you bringing your own spare battery of course), the distance won’t be a concern. With the added power of an electric motor helping them along, the E-Bikers will be able to take in the route like never before. They’ll be able to cruise up the Vergelegen Climb and conquer any obstacle the race throws at them. As long as, of course, their E-Bikes have the walk-assist function… pushing 20+kg bikes up the Gantouw Pass without that handy function might be a touch tricky. And you can be sure no rider on a one HP (human power in this case) mountain bike is going to lend a hand. Photo credit: Greg Beadle. “The rationale behind allowing E-Bikes to take part in the mid-week event is to make it more inclusive,” Sarah Harrop, Head of Marketing and Communications for FNB Wines2Whales explained. “We’re hoping to attract riders who would otherwise not be able to take part in an MTB stage event for reasons that could vary from disability, age, health issues or simply fitness. It also allows the opportunity for stronger partners to introduce friends, family members or youngsters to the sport without the “10 hours per week” training sacrifice. We will ensure that the inclusion of E-Bike riders will not interfere with the race itself.” Charging E-Bikes can pose an issue in a race village, however AMPED has come to the rescue and will be ensuring that all E-Bikes are charged and ready to rumble each morning.
  2. Things are getting real for w2w this year. Just received the starting group notification. Who else is doing the Ride this year?
  3. I'm keen to find out what people think of the changes to the W2W day3 route end and finish venue.
  4. Per title, I'm keen to do Sani2C next year, if you're interested and keen to swop for this year's Wines2Whales (will likely be the first race, previously Adventure, now Chardonnay). PM me if you want to chat Thanks
  5. Starting at Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West) the 9th edition of the FNB W2W MTB Race attracted an impressive field of 1340 riders. Before crossing the finish line riders had to complete a 68km route that featured a 1650m ascent and included the Lourensford and Vergelegen climbs, the PERI Vergelegen Bridge, the portage over Gantouw Pass and the A2Z single tracks. Konny Looser and Christoph Sauser of Team Investec-Songo.info in action during Stage One of the FNB W2W MTB Race. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg “Going into the race we knew that the PYGA boys are really strong,” says Sauser. “Luckily we know how to run. The goal was to get to the portage first. It’s hard to make up time over the next two days. So we put in every second today. We’re hoping to have a fun day on Stage Two, instead of just trying to hang on.” Team PYGA Euro Steel 1’s Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes crossed the finish line in second place on the day. “We should definitely up our running game,” admits Buys. “We always seem to forget about the portage section. Next time we’ll come more prepared for it. The conditions were good. We managed to make up some time after the portage, but we lost the drag race on the last flat section.” Team PYGA Euro Steel 1 completed Stage One in 02 hour 50 minutes 28 seconds. Team NAD Pro MTB’s Nico Bell and Gawie Combrinck rounded off the Stage One podium with a finishing time of 02 hours 53 minutes 26 seconds. “The pace was hard until the 1st climb,” says Bell. “After that we slacked off. The teams stuck together, waiting for the portage. Christoph and Konny just ran away from us there. The stage was really enjoyable. Not too hot. The wet trails settled the dust nicely.” The women’s race was led by Team Meerendal CBC’s Jennie Stenerhag and Adelheid Morath. “It was tough out there,” says Stenerhag. “We got away on the first climb. I set the pace at the start, but Adelheid later took over. She’s really strong. I’m not a runner, so I definitely walked the portage section. Vera and Adrian kept catching us. We went really hard on the last section. We only have one goal. Going into Stage Two we will try our best to defend our lead.” Team Meerendal CBC’s Adelheid Morath and Jennie Stenerhag in action during Stage One of the FNB W2W MTB Race. Photo Credit: David Tarpey Team Meerendal CBC completed stage one in 03 hours 19 minutes 50 seconds. Team Dormakaba’s Candice Lill and Vera Adrian secured the second spot on the podium. “It was a tight race,” says Lill. “We could always see Jennie and Adelheid. We’re stoked with our performance today. The field of women is really good this year and so is the prize money. I love seeing so many strong women’s teams on the start line. The future looks good for women’s racing.” Team Velocity Sports Lab’s Carmen Buchacher and Michelle Vorster finished third. Husband and wife duo Martin and Jeannie Dreyer of Team Merchants claimed the top spot on the podium in the mixed team race in a time of 03 hours 35 minutes 22 seconds. “Being in Cape Town and riding in the rain today is really special,” says Martin. “I had a lovely time out on route with my wife. Being in the mixed team race, you never really know where you’ve placed until you cross the finish line. Over the next two stages we’ll have to keep our wits about us.” Team SAICA’s Ila and Darryn Stow came in second, while Team Jowetts Racing’s Natalie Bergstrom and Warren Price finished third. RESULTS - Stage One FNB W2W MTB Race.pdf
  6. “It’s not often that things work out according to plan,” says Beukes. “Going into the stage, we knew that we would have to do something at the 40km mark. We sat on the wheels a bit up the drag, and then increased our pace. It’s been a great year. We couldn’t be happier about our win.” Philip Buys and Matthys Beukes of Team PYGA Euro Steel 1 in action during Stage Three of the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) MTB Race. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg “This is my first W2W win,” admits Buys. “Everything worked out well over the three days. W2W is a great race to end the season off with.” PYGA Euro Steel 1 completed Stage Three in an impressive time of 02 hours 30 minutes 08 seconds. They claimed the overall victory (after three days of racing) in a combined time of 07 hours 59 minutes 48 seconds over the 210km distance (three stages combined). Team Investec-Songo.info’s Konny Looser and Christoph Sauser claimed the second spot on the podium, while Team NAD Pro MTB’s Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell finished third. “I expected this to be the result,” admits Sauser. “I had to dig deep the first two days, and just didn’t have the base. The best team definitely won. They deserve it.” “I enjoyed the weekend’s racing,” says Looser. “There was a big fight on route today. It’s been super exciting. It’s always nice riding with Christoph. Team PYGA were clever in their riding strategy. They definitely deserve the win. W2W has been great. The route was awesome.” “It’s always nice fishing at the sea,” says Bell. “W2W is a really enjoyable race. Now we plan to reset and hopefully have a good year in 2018.” In the women’s race Stage Three was claimed by Team Dormakaba’s Candice Lill and Vera Adrian. Team Meerendal CBC’s Jennie Stenerhag and Adelheid Morath pipped Team Valencia Ladies’ Samantha Sanders and Amy Mcdougall to the finish claiming the 2nd and 3rd spots on the podium respectively for the stage. Team Meerendal CBC’s Jennie Stenerhag and Adelheid Morath in action during Stage Three of the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) MTB Race. Photo Credit: David Tarpey Team Meerendal CBC’s remarkable efforts over the three days however secured them the coveted title of 2017 FNB W2W MTB Champions in the women’s race. Team Meerendal CBC completed three days of racing in a deserving combined time of 09 hours 15 minutes 52 seconds. “It feels great to end the year off with a win,” says Stenerhag. “Although we had a good lead going into Stage Three, we knew that with mountain biking anything can happen. We did what we could today, but I didn’t have anything left on the climbs. I’ve taken part in W2W six times. I love the trails. This is definitely the best event that I’ve ever taken part in. The Prize Money has also done a lot for women’s racing. W2W is an awesome way to end the season.” “W2W is a great event,” says Morath. “I really enjoyed it and am happy to be here.” Team Dormakaba’s Candice Lill and Vera Adrian claimed second place, with Team Valencia Ladies’ Samantha Sanders and Amy Mcdougall rounding off the podium after three days of racing. “We had a really good start,” says Lill. “We knew that it was important to get to the front to reach the single track first. Once in the single track we pushed the pace. We had a positive race and are happy with today. It was a fantastic way to close off our partnership.” “We worked on our master plan last night,” laughs Adrian. “It worked perfectly today. We stayed in front. I was able to ride my pace and we gave it our all on the climbs. W2W is a partner race. We definitely rode as a team.” “Our plan was to do our best,” says Sanders. “You can only go as hard as the body allows. Our effort was good enough for third place. The event has been awesome. W2W really is incredible. The trails are immaculate.” “I need to work on my sprinting skill,” laughs Mcdougall. “There was a lot of pain, but W2W was a lot of fun.” It was a hat-trick stage victory for husband and wife duo Martin and Jeannie Dreyer of Team Merchants. They firmly secured the title of Mixed Team Champions in a combined time of 09 hours 57 minutes 21 seconds. “I’m chuffed that we were able to claim three stage victories,” says Jeannie. “We definitely don’t train the intensity for this type of race. I guess it just shows that our heads are in it. W2W is a magic, gem of an event. It’s slick, neat and clean. There’s no suffering or discomfort. It’s a real treat.” Team SAICA’s Ila and Darryn Stow claimed the second spot on the podium after three days of racing, while Team Coach1/Globe Flight’s Ian Martin and Louise Ferreira finished third. The second and last destination stage of the FNB W2W MTB Race, Stage Three started at the Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw) and finished at the Onrus Caravan Park. The route boasted with 71km of spectacular-mountain biking and featured a 1200m ascent. Iconic sections on route included 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-Onrus Beach Crossing and the PERI-Onrus river crossing to name just a few. “We are delighted to see local and international participants continuing to appreciate what South Africa has to offer, through this incredible event. We would like to congratulate every single cyclist that took part this year, most specifically, the champions of the three stages who have earned their titles in what has been a challenging FNB W2W MTB Race. We are proud to be associated with this event and are looking forward to being a part of its growth year on year,” said Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO FNB Business. RESULTS - Stage Three FNB W2W MTB Race.pdf
  7. “I knew that it would be a hard stage, but the route suited us well,” said Beukes. “We applied some pressure in the rocky sections. The group stuck together and then Konny’s bike got a flat tyre. From there it was a 60km drag race. Stage Three will be like a one day race for us. It’s basically our last big race of the year so we might as well go all out.” Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys of Team PYGA Euro Steel 1 in action during Stage Two of the FNB W2W MTB Race. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg Teammate Philip Buys expects a tough Stage Three. “Today wasn’t an easy day or an easy win. We know that Stage Three won’t be any easier,” said Buys. Team PYGA Euro Steel 1 completed Stage Two in an impressive time of 02 hours 39 minutes 12 seconds. Team NAD Pro MTB’s Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell came in second, while Team Investec-Songo.info’s Konny Looser and Christoph Sauser finished third. Team Valencia Ladies’ Samantha Sanders and Amy McDougall completed Stage Two in a deserving time of 03 hours 01 minute 38 seconds. Samantha Sanders and Amy Mcdougall of Team Valencia Ladies in action during Stage Two of the FNB W2W MTB Race. Photo Credit: David Tarpey “I knew that we had a lot of single track coming up on Stage Two,” says Sanders. “I went to the front and set the tempo. We reached the single track first and just held our lead from there.” “Today was beautiful,” says McDougall. “I felt much better than yesterday and the single track suited our riding style. It was smiles all the way. We plan on riding as hard as we can on the last stage.” Team Meerendal CBC’s Jennie Stenerhag and Adelheid Morath came in second, with Team Velocity Sports Lab’s Carmen Buchacher and Michelle Vorster placing third on the day. In the mixed team race husband and wife duo Jeannie and Martin Dreyer of Team Merchants claimed another stage victory with a finishing time of 03 hours 16 minutes 32 seconds. “We had a phenomenal day,” says Jeannie. “I like to think that my mountain biking skills are improving as I felt more relaxed and was able to enjoy the stage. The route was smooth and free flowing. Everything just seemed to connect well. We’re looking forward to Stage Three. It’s always special seeing the ocean.” Team Jowetts Racing’s Natalie Bergstrom and Warren Price came in second, while Team SAICA’s Ila and Darryn Stow finished third. Leading out Stage Three: Going into Stage Three Team Investec-Songo.info’s Konny Looser and Christoph Sauser have a 6 second lead over Team PYGA Euro Steel 1’s Matthys Beukes Philip Buys. Team NAD Pro MTB’s Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell are in third place. “Even though it’s only 6 seconds, going into Stage Three as the leaders makes a difference,” says Looser. “It’s a mental game. The other teams will have to attack. Both teams are pretty much on the same level. It won’t be easy to make up the difference.” In the Women’s Race Team Meerendal CBC’s Jennie Stenerhag and Adelheid Morath have just over 5 minutes on Team Dormakaba’s Candice Lill and Vera Adrian. Team Valencia Ladies’ Samantha Sanders and Amy Mcdougall are in third place. “Stage Three will be a tough stage,” says Stenerhag. “I try not to think about the prize money until after the race. I was thinking about it a bit during Stage Two though. Overall is what counts.” Team Merchants’ Jeannie and Martin Dreyer are leading the Mixed Team Race by over 8 minutes. Team Jowetts Racing’s Natalie Bergstrom and Warren Price are in second place, with Team SAICA’s Ila and Darryn Stow lying in third place. The only stage to start and finish at the Oak Valley Wine Estate, “Play Day” saw riders having to complete a 71km route that featured a 1350 ascent. Iconic sections to look out for on route included 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 to mention just a few. RESULTS - Stage Two FNB W2W MTB Race.pdf
  8. Top teams to look for will include: Swiss contenders Christoph Sauser with Konny Looser (Investec-Songo), Gawie Combrinck with Nico Bell (NAD Pro MTB), Matthys Beukes with Philip Buys (PYGA Euro Steel 1), Waylon Woolcock with HB Kruger (Team BCX), Alan Hatherly with Matthew Beers (Team Spur/RED-E), Phillimon Sebona with Julien Jessop (PYGA Euro Steel 2), Robyn de Groot with Sabine Spitz of Germany (Team Ascendis Health), Ariane Lüthi and Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (Team Spur), Vera Adrian with Candice Lill (Dormakaba) and Cherise Willeit with Vicky van der Merwe (Team Squirt) to mention just a few. Ariane Lüthi and Cherie Vale. Photo credit: David Tarpey. Team Investec-Songo: It’s been three years since Christoph Sauser and Konny Looser claimed gold at the FNB W2W MTB Race (2014). Undoubtedly both riders will be hoping for a repeat performance in 2017. “The characteristic route, racing action, vibe and of course raising funds for songo.info are what attract me to W2W,” says Sauser. “I enjoy all three stages because they are very different from each other. That’s why I love the entire route package. Konny and I make a well balanced team and we both like to win.” According to Looser, W2W is his favourite SA event. “It has a nice format and super nice routes. I enjoy the second stage. It’s fast and features a lot of single track. Our team strategy will be less thinking and more dirt. I’d really like to win my third W2W Race. ” Team NAD Pro MTB: “W2W is a great race with awesome trails,” says Combrinck. “I enjoy the third stage the most. I’ve always had a good race on the last day. Our goal is to win.” Nico Bell echoes his team mates sentiments, “I enjoy Stage Three the most. We’re going to the sea. Our team strategy will be to hang tight, wait for opportunities and then go flat out.” Team PYGA Euro Steel 1: “W2W is a nice event to end the season off with,” says Beukes. “The trails are good and the vibe is chilled. I must admit, the good prize purse is also a draw card.” “My favorite trails are featured during Stage Two,” says Buys. “Our team strength is our technical abilities and mental strength. We’ll ride offensively, while keeping it smooth and fast. We’d love to end off the season with a final victory.” Team BCX: “I enjoy the awesome trails and great event hospitality,” says Woolcock. “Stage Two is my favorite stage because it has the most single track. Our team strength will be consistency, while keeping it positive will be our strategy.” “I enjoy Stage One the most,” says Kruger. “This stage is unpredictable and the portage gives it a very different dynamic. I am looking forward to mingling with mates after a tough day in the saddle. Our goal is to finish on the top step of the podium after three days of racing.” Team Spur/RED-E: “I’ve heard that W2W has incredible single track and awesome racing,” says Hatherly. “I had serious FOMO last year following the race on Twitter. Looking at the route profiles, I think that Stage One would probably be the most fun. Our goal is to be on the overall GC podium.” “W2W was the first big stage race that I did when I first started mountain biking,” says Beers. “Stage Two is awesome. It’s really technical and fast. It should suit us nicely. There’s going to be quite a few strong teams this year. I suspect our toughest competition will come from Team PYGA Euro Steel 1 and Team Investec-Songo.” Team PYGA Euro Steel 2: “Jullien and I would like to finish in the top field,” says Sebona. “Most of the top names will be on the start line. Our strategy will be to work together. Racing won’t be easy, but we are looking forward to it.” Team Ascendis Health: “Sabine and I make a great team,” says de Groot. “We race well together. As professional athletes we will obviously focus on stage wins, with the overall victory a major objective. I am really looking forward to sharing this awesome race with Sabine who will be racing it for the first time.” “I’ve heard a lot of good things about W2W,” says Spitz. “I’ve been told that there is a lot of cool single track and that the routes are really scenic. I’ve also heard about suspension bridges. I’m looking forward to being showered with champagne and swimming with the whales.” Team Spur: According to Lüthi, W2W is one of SA’s greatest stage races. “The route and the organisation of the event are absolutely top class. Of course the Spur burger that's waiting for us at the end of each stage is a huge drawcard. Stage Two is a lot of fun. The hills and overall stage are just short enough to keep the suffer level at bay so that one can truly enjoy all the fantastic single tracks which Oak Valley is known for.” “Stage One is my favorite stage because it starts with a climb,” says Moolman Pasio. “Climbing is definitely my biggest strength on the mountain bike. It also helps if I can get a head start into the single track. Being a roadie I'm not particularly fast in the single track. This will be the first time that I race in the Elite Women’s Category at W2W. I’m looking forward to the challenge and know that I will be in good hands with Ariane as my partner and Team Spur as my support crew.” Team Dormakaba: “It’s the wine and great time had with friends that attract me to W2W,” says Adrian. “All three stages are equally great. You get to enjoy the trails without traffic and indulge in yummy Food Lovers Market treats at the water points. Our goal will be to have the best last race together no matter the outcome.” Team Squirt: Cherise Willeit has completed four W2W’s events. “The scenery is definitely a big highlight,” says Willeit. “I love the atmosphere of W2W and how it brings all types of cyclists together. It's an event where you get to mingle with everyone. The food has always been absolutely superb. Vicky and I will ride to have fun and make memories. My advice to MTB newcomers is to take it easy. It's important to pace correctly and to leave something in the tank for the last stage.”
  9. Iconic sections on the Stage Three route included 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-Onrus Beach Crossing and the PERI-Onrus river crossing to name just a few. The 2017 FNB W2W MTB Ride saw hat trick victories for the leading men’s, women’s and mixed team after Stage Three. Team ACE Lesotho’s Leonhard Lukoschek (Germany) and Phetetso Monese (Lesotho) were on top form obliterating the 71km Stage Three route in 03 hours 22 seconds. Team ACE Lesotho completed all three stages of the2017 FNB W2W MTB Ride, a combined total of 210km, in an impressive combined time of 09 hours 17 minutes 51 seconds. “I really enjoyed W2W,” says Lukoschek. “I enjoyed the nature and the people were amazing. The support on route was unheard of. It’s a totally different experience compared to one day races.” Leonhard Lukoschek and Phetetso Monese in action during Stage Three. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg. According to Monese W2W was great. “I am really happy with my partner. I was worried in the beginning knowing that he’s not a mountain biker, but he did really well. Being able to successfully defend my title is a great feeling. I am really happy with the win.” Team Transporters’ Steven Bark and Fabian Valsechi placed second overall after three days of racing, with Team Tallboys’ Michael Van Niekerk and Trevor Baptiste coming in third. In the mixed team race, Siblings Stephan and Mariske Strauss of Team Oak Racing claimed to take it easy on the day. “Today was open roads and jeep track,” says Stephan. “It was actually a rest day. We just stuck with the bunch and they pulled us through until the end.” “Today was hard but amazing,” says Mariske. “A point to point stage is always nice. Our Stage Three strategy was just to stick with the leading guys. It was an absolute pleasure to ride with my brother.” Team Oak Racing completed Stage Three in a well-deserved time of 03 hours 07 minutes 59 seconds. Their combined winning time over all three stages is 09 hours 56 minutes 20 seconds. Team Giant Durbanville’s Julien Louw and Colleen De Oliveira placed second overall after three days of racing, with Team Haaskat’s Russell Lund and Anneke Hanekom coming in third. Team Defenders’ Jana Kruger and Ilse Viljoen complete Stage Three in 03 hours 42 minutes 28 seconds. “We could feel stage one and two in our legs this morning,” says Kruger. “I stumbled over an A-frame today. Luckily my bike was fine and I only nicked my finger. From there it was smooth sailing though. The single track was lovely. I really enjoyed it.” “W2W was spectacular,” says Viljoen. “This was the best ride ever. We definitely want to come back next year.” Team Defenders completed all three stages of the FNB W2W MTB Ride in a combined time of 11 hours 50 minutes 22 seconds. Team Pace Of Mind’s Halcyone Muller and Heidi Nieuwoudt placed second overall after three days of racing, with Team Pool Nurse’s Alta Kriegler and Sunette Beyers coming in third. “The FNB W2W MTB Ride offers athletes of all abilities the chance to enjoy breath-taking scenery, challenging hills and amazing single track riding. FNB would like to congratulate all the participants, with special acknowledgement for the winners. We are eagerly awaiting the last event, the FNB W2W MTB Race,” said Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO FNB Business.
  10. The only stage to start and finish at the picturesque Oak Valley Wine Estate, Stage Two of the FNB W2W MTB Ride featured 67 kilometres of mountain biking pleasure that included iconic 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 to mention just a few. Mountain bikers in action during Stage Two of the FNB W2W MTB Ride. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg “Today was great. I really enjoyed the route,” says Monese. “We were under a little more pressure with the 2nd and 3rd teams chasing hard. It was harder to get away from them. We just kept pushing. Thanks to our current lead, we won’t be under too much pressure tomorrow. We’ll just relax and stick with the lead group.” “It wasn’t as easy to get a gap today,” admits Lukoschek. “We’re stronger physically though, so we just kept pushing. I expected the stage to be much more technical, but instead it was really smooth. On the “Sounds of Silence” section I could leave the breaks completely open. Stage Two was a lot of fun.” Team Transporters’ Steven Bark and Fabian Valsechi came in second, while Team Pelotrain Racing’s John Wakefield and Donovan Le Cok finished third. The mixed team race was once again dominated by Team Oak Racing’s brother and sister duo of Stephan and Mariske Strauss. Team Oak Racing crossed the finish line at Oak Valley Wine Estate in 03 hours 08 minutes 12 seconds. “We went out really hard for the first 1 ½ hours, but then we started to struggle,” says Stephan. “We just wanted to get to the single track first. Stage Two was like a Cross Country race. Around every corner we dropped our gears and pushed.” “Stage Two was sharp and punchy with a lot of ups and downs,” says Mariske. “The trails were amazing. Stage Three is going to be tough. We’ll just stick with the bunch and get to Hermanus.” Julien Louw and Colleen De Oliveira of Team Giant Durbanville came in second, while Russell Lund and Anneke Hanekom of Team Haaskat finished third. Team Defenders’ Ilse Viljoen and Jana Kruger strengthened their lead crossing the finish line first in the women’s race in 03 hours 41 minutes 48 seconds. “Stage Two was amazing,” says Viljoen. “I couldn’t image it being better than last year, but it was. At approximately the 20km mark we felt strong and just got into the flow. The trails were lovely. I’m excited to take on Stage Three. Last year the Wildekrans trails were superb. I am really looking forward to riding them again tomorrow.” “We just took it easy and settled into the stage,” says Kruger. “We’re having a lovely, relaxing weekend. Ilse and I have been friends for a long time. We studied together, but don’t get to see each other that often. W2W has given us the perfect opportunity to catch up.” Team Pool Nurse’s Alta Kriegler and Sunette Beyers came in second, while Team Pace of Mind’s Halcyone Muller and Heidi Nieuwoudt finished third.
  11. The first of two destination stages, Stage One saw riders having to complete a 64km route that featured a 1650m ascent before crossing the finish line at Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw), their home away from home. Team ACE Lesotho’s Leonhard Lukoschek leading the field during Stage One of the FNB Wines2Whales MTB Ride. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg Olympian Phetetso Monese (Lesotho) and Leonhard Lukoschek (Germany) of Team ACE Lesotho applied pressure from the start. “This is my third W2W,” says Monese. “Last year I finished first in the men’s race. I really want to defend my title. So we went fast from the start. Stage One featured some great riding. I was a little worried when I heard that Leonhard was a roadie, but after today I’m no longer worried.” Monese became the first Olympic cyclist from Lesotho when he qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics. “I’m a visiting student from Germany,” says Lukoschek. “I don’t have a mountain biking background. I’m actually a triathlete that’s more of a runner. I’ve heard that W2W is well organized and that the views are beautiful, so I expected to see stunning landscapes. It’s definitely lived up to its reputation. I’ve also heard that the event is one big party, so I’m really looking forward to tonight.” Team ACE Lesotho crossed the finish line in 03 hours 21 minutes 59 seconds. Team Transporters’ Steven Bark and Fabian Valsechi came in second, with Team Tallboys’ Michael Van Niekerk and Trevor Baptiste finishing third. With the competitive streak clearly running in the family, brother and sister duo Mariske and Stephan Strauss of Team Oak Racing obliterated the field in the mixed team race claiming the stage victory in 03 hours 40 minutes 09 seconds. “This is my 4th or 5th W2W. The event just doesn’t get old,” says Mariske. “The trails are awesome. I must admit the forest section was absolute heaven. It’s getting hot out there. My brother was a machine. We said we’d take it easy, but you know how it goes, you always find challengers on route to dice.” “This is the first time that we ride together,” says Stephan. “For the past four years I’ve focused on work. It’s really nice to be back on the bike again. We’re definitely here to have fun. After today I can confirm now already that we’ll be back next year.” Team Giant Durbanville’s Julien Louw and Colleen De Oliveira came in second, while Haaskat’s Russell Lund and Anneke Hanekom finished third. Defending champions Ilse Viljoen and Jana Kruger of Team Defenders took the Stage One victory in 04 hours 26 minutes 06 seconds. “We had a good ride,” says Viljoen. “We started well, but it got hot quickly out there. We had to stop at water point two for a drink. We are really looking forward to Play Day.” According to Kruger, Stage One was phenomenal. “The single tracks were superb. It was even more enjoyable than last year. To sum up Stage One, it was tough fun.” Team Pace of Mind’s Halcyone Muller and Heidi Nieuwoudt came in second, while Team Pool Nurse’s Alta Kriegler and Sunette Beyers finished third.
  12. Riders in action during Stage One of the FNB W2W MTB Adventure. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg Celebrating its 9th anniversary this year, Stage One of the Western Cape’s premier three day MTB stage race saw riders having to complete a 64km route that featured a 1650m ascent before crossing the finish line at Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw), their home for the weekend. Team Sukkel Sukkel’s Francois Theron and Fritz Pienaar put down the hammer in the men’s race crossing the finish line first in a time of 03 hours 36 minutes 08 seconds. “Stage One was a nice journey from point to point. Our plan was to go as fast as we could to get to the single track first,” says Theron. Waldo Zevenster and Carl Toua of Team Dream Real Digital came in second, while Christo Toua Toua and Gareth Harrington of Team Epic Grid rounded off the podium. Lolita Van Aardt and Simone Rhoda Van Aardt of Team Like Mother Like Daughter were the ladies to beat claiming gold in 04 hours 35 minutes 28 seconds. “The course was fantastic,” says Lolita. “It was really windy today, but the water points were fantastic and the stage was great. This is the third year that Simone and I ride together. We like the atmosphere and the stages are nice and short. The first stage is always tough. We’re really looking forward to Play Day.” Janine Muller and Mari du Toit of Team Oakley Group Girls came in second, while Erica Green and Reinette Geldenhuis of Team Wines2Whales finished third. Team Rotsvas’ Anton and Adrienne Moolman were dominant in the Mixed Team race crossing the finish line in 03 hours 52 minutes 15 seconds. “The fan did not stop blowing today,” laughs Anton. “The trails were nice. We loved the scenery, flowers, atmosphere and Race Village. The event is just perfectly organized. We’re really looking forward to tomorrow.” Petrus and Yzette Oelofse of Team Boys & Bikes came in second, while Hamish Knowles and Theresa Ralph of Team Galileo Risk finished third. Top Ten Results Stage 1 RESULTS 2017 FNB W2W MTB Adventure Stage One.xlsx
  13. Winner Week 1 The winner for this week is Hilton Rossenrode. Congratulations!There is still one more FNB Wines2Whales entry up for grabs so let us know what fuels your ride! The FNB Wines2Whales Race takes place from 3-5 November 2017 with each stage covering 70-80km. The race kicks off from the beautiful Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, and finishes at the Onrust Caravan Park, just outside Onrus. FLM will be providing food, snacks and other essentials in the Race Village at the Food Lover’s Market Rider Dining Marquee, as well as at all water points along the route. We have the perfect fuel for you to have the ride of your life. How to enterYou can submit your entry on Facebook or Instagram: To enter on Facebook, simply post your "ride fuel" photo with the hashtag #FLMFuelYourRide as a comment to the Bike Hub page post here. To enter on Instagram, simply post a photo of your "ride fuel" with the hashtag #FLMFuelYourRide and tag @foodloversmarket. Don't forget that your Instagram profile needs to be public for us to view your post, and be eligible for the competition. If you win, you will get to make your trek through the mountains and winelands in one of the most scenic cycle races in the world. Entries have sold out so this is your last chance! So, grab your bike, get pedaling and make Food Lover’s Market your go to choice when your energy needs a top up. See you at the race! The two FNB Wines2Whales Race entries will be given away over a two week period with one lucky winner announced at the end of each week.Week 1: 6 to 12 October 2017, winner announced on 13 October 2017 at 12pm Winner: Hilton Rossenrode Week 2: 13 to 19 October 2017, winner announced on 20 October 2017 at 12pm Winner: Cuan Rootman View full competition Terms & Conditions on the Food Lover's Market website here.
  14. Team Spur Assistant Manager and Soigneur, Tim Bassingthwaighte and Technical Manager, JP Jacobs are usually responsible for looking after the every racing need of XC hotshot (and newly-crowned Cape Pioneer Champ, with Matt Beers), Alan Hatherly, and marathon queen Ariane Lüthi. Now it’s their turn to pull on the red-and-black lycra… And there is some disagreement as to how this is all going to pan out. Team Spur Assistant Manager and Soigneur, Tim Bassingthwaighte and Technical Manager, JP Jacobs awaiting the arrival of their riders in the technical zone. “A week or two ago JP was joking, saying what I do is easy,” laughs Alan Hatherly. “He reckons, ‘I just have to ride my bike and can go have fun all the time.’ This is a bit of a role reversal for him and he can go and experience three days of hurt! So he can learn a lesson. Hahaha!” “No, they’re incredible guys and just the best support any rider could ever ask for. Everything is always sorted, you know, I don’t need to worry about anything. Tim does so much behind the scenes: Flights; car hire; buys the food; cooks the food. A whole bunch of other stuff… I’m really happy they get to do something fun together and I hope that they come out the other side with their friendship intact.” “Huge respect to them! I really hope they survive it well because we are going to need them a weekend later,” Ariane echoes Alan’s sentiments. “And, I don’t think they would want us to do their jobs - they’re going to be a lot better at doing ours than we could ever be at doing theirs.” “Anyone who knows my mechanical skills know how important JP is for me, I’m really reliant on a good mechanic! Body and legs are crucial, but equipment plays a big part in successful mountain-bike racing too. JP is not just a mechanic, I’ve worked with many different people in my career and I can honestly say JP is the best mechanic I’ve ever worked with, in all aspects. He’s a perfectionist, when it comes to stock and those kinds of logistics too, which is a big thing,” she says. Team Spur technical manager JP Jacobs hard at work. Photo credit: Johan Badenhorst. According to Ariane, not even the toughest of stages will test the bond JP and Tim have forged while on the road. “I mean, these are two guys who – when we go to Spur to eat – they’ll order different things and then share, going as far as to count out the chips. Double beds…who knows what else they’ve shared while on tour,” Ariane jokes. Team Director Nic Lamond looks at it from a practical, stage-race riding point-of-view. “Much as some of our top pro teams have to work out the strengths and weaknesses of their riding partners, JP and Tim are going to have to do the same,” he says. “JP is an incredibly skilled bike handler, but travels the most of anyone in the team. Supporting both Ariane and Alan, and, has come off the back of a very successful but also very strenuous season, so probably hasn’t put in the kind of time he probably should have. I think Tim probably has more of a diesel engine, so look for Tim to lead up the climbs and JP to fly the downhill singletrack sections.” According to Nic the sacrifices that pro athletes make is well documented, the sacrifices these two make behind the scenes of a successful racing outfit, is not. “Really it’s an opportunity to have the freedom of riding their bikes for a couple of days, without any worries of looking after someone else.” Tim Bassingthwaighte providing Alan Hatherly with a fresh bottle at the recent Cape Pioneer Trek. So, what do the boys think about these up-coming three days of ‘freedom’? Well, they are under no illusions: “Preparation wise, it is quite simple - JP and I aren’t prepared…at all,” Tim says. “We’ve been on one or two rides, wouldn’t call them training rides. Having said that, we really are looking forward to the event. We’ve heard some great stories and stuff about the route - some people say we will be fine, others have a complete opposite point-of-view. “We didn’t prepare for the event, because earlier this year we planned to ride but couldn’t get an entry,” JP explains, playing down the lack of time they would’ve had to prepare for a three day stage race of this nature anyway. “Then, at the 11th hour, Specialized gave us a ticket. At first we were going to turn it down because of the lack of training. However, after a bit of back-n-forth we decided, ‘screw it we’ll show them what we made of!” See just what the Team Spur boys are made of by following their antics at the FNB Wines2Whales Ride, on Team Spur’s social channels. Indeed, Tim might just have enough time at the top of some of the climbs to tweet….
  15. Stage 1: Lourensford to Oak ValleyThe 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. “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.” 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 One information:Start Venue: Lourensford Wine Estate Finish Venue: Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw) Distance: 68km Ascent: 1650m Water Points: WP1 / Lourensford Wine Estate on 20km WP2 / Idiom on 36km WP3 / Grabouw Forest on 50km 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. “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.” 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 Two information Start Venue: Oak Valley Wine Estate Finish Venue: Oak Valley Wine EstateDistance: 71km Ascent: 1350m Water Points: WP1 / Oak Valley Wine Estate on 18km WP2 / Paul Cluver Amphitheatre on 36km WP3 / Lebanon on 52km (water only) WP4 / The Hickory Shack on 60km 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. “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.” 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.” Stage Three information: Start Venue: Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw) Finish Venue: Onrust Caravan Park Distance: 71km Ascent: 1200m Water Points: WP1 / Botriver School on 24km WP2 / Art House on 42km WP3 / Plaaskombuis on 61km EVENT INFORMATION: FNB Wines2Whales MTB Events Starting in the Winelands of Somerset West, riders will cross through (and over) 13 wineries, 26 private farms, six mountains, historic roads and mountain passes, nature conservation areas (including the Kogelberg Biosphere) before finishing within sight of the famous whales of Hermanus!Event Dates: FNB Wines2Whales MTB Adventure: Friday, 27 October 2017 – Sunday, 29 October 2017 FNB Wines2Whales MTB Ride: Monday, 30 October 2017 – 01 November 2017 FNB Wines2Whales MTB Race: Friday, 03 November 2017 – Sunday, 05 November 2017 Facebook: Wines2Whales Twitter: @w2wmtb For more information on the FNB Wines2Whales MTB events contact Chris on 083 760 3158, e-mail race@wines2whales.co.za, adventure@wines2whales.co.za or ride@wines2whales.co.za or visit www.wines2whales.co.za
  16. Dingo

    W2W Kits swap

    Any advice or indication on the chances of exchanging W2W kit for bigger sizes at Registration for the Adventure? Got late entries and need to swap 2 x small jersey's and jackets for 2 x XL.
  17. Hi guys Looking for a 2018 Sani2C team entry - Adventure or Race. Swop with my W2W entry - either 2017 or 2018. Let me know, txs.
  18. Mountain bikers enjoying a glass of wine during the 2016 FNB Wines2Whales MTB Events. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg “The FNB W2W Strava Winery Challenge is sure to add that much needed fun element to every entrant’s training regime,” says Michael Meyer, FNB W2W MTB Director. “The challenge will run from June to Mid-October, with each month featuring a different Strava challenge. By completing the challenge riders automatically qualify for the monthly prizes. There will be specific routes on each of the following wine farms: Paul Cluver, Oak Valley, Wildekrans and Lourensford. We have not forgotten about the W2W riders that are not based in Cape Town. For these riders there will be a generic challenge that will put them in contention for the monthly prizes.” “By introducing a ‘competition’ there’s an automatic social factor that always adds excitement,” continues Meyer. “Not only will W2W entrants get to experience parts of the 2017 route, they’ll also get to visit and spend some time on the magnificent wine farms that they usually only get to ride through on event day. The W2W experience does not start in October, it starts now. We invite all entrants to challenge friends, better yet, challenge your W2W team mate. Don’t forget about the training program on the event website that was tailor-made for W2W by DaisyWay Coaching Systems. We look forward to welcoming an even fitter field of mountain bikers to the FNB W2W MTB Events at the end of October.” The FNB W2W Strava Winery Challenge and prizes are exclusive to paid entrants of the 2017 FNB W2W MTB Adventure, Ride and Race. Search for the 2017 FNB W2W Winery Challenges Club on Strava and apply to join. For more information on the monthly campaign routes and prizes visit https://wines2whales.co.za/winery-strava-challenge/ EVENT INFORMATION: FNB Wines2Whales MTB Events Starting in the Winelands of Somerset West, riders will cross through (and over) 13 wineries, 26 private farms, six mountains, historic roads and mountain passes, nature conservation areas (including the Kogelberg Biosphere) before finishing within sight of the famous whales of Hermanus! • FNB Wines2Whales MTB Adventure: Friday, 27 October 2017 – Sunday, 29 October 2017 • FNB Wines2Whales MTB Ride: Monday, 30 October 2017 – 01 November 2017 • FNB Wines2Whales MTB Race: Friday, 03 November 2017 – Sunday, 05 November 2017
  19. The mountain biking community will celebrate on Tuesday, 14 February 2017 for a very different reason when entries open for the Western Cape’s most loved three day stage mountain bike (MTB) events, the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) MTB Adventure, Ride and Race. Click here to view the article
  20. The mountain biking community will celebrate on Tuesday, 14 February 2017 for a very different reason when entries open for the Western Cape’s most loved three day stage mountain bike (MTB) events, the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) MTB Adventure, Ride and Race. Seen here: Mountain bikers in action during the 2016 FNB W2W MTB Events. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg “We are excited to open entries for the 9th annual FNB W2W MTB Events,” says Michael Meyer, FNB W2W MTB Director. “We look forward to building on the successes of 2016. Our focus will once again be on refreshing the rider’s experience both on route and in the festival village. Together with the support of our valued sponsors we look forward to hosting yet another memorable experience in the beautiful Western Cape.” “Entrants can look forward to fun and surprising route upgrades in 2017,” says Johan Kriegler, FNB W2W MTB Director. “The 2016 event has spurred on some exciting route changes. We will, however, still include the W2W favorites to give newcomers the opportunity to experience the routes that riders having been raving about. The systematic replacement of alien vegetation with indigenous vegetation is still our focus, as is our on route nature conservation efforts and the creation of sustainable job opportunities. A sincere thank you goes out to all the landowners for consistently opening their hearts and farms to the annual FNB W2W MTB Events. A key strength of these events is the quality of landowner partnerships that we have built over the years”. “We are delighted to be the sponsors of one of the sought–after races in South Africa. The FNB W2W is rapidly becoming a flagship event for cyclists around the country. The camaraderie, spectacular route and intense competition provide an experience that is filled with awe amongst sports enthusiasts.” added Stephan Claassen, Provincial Head FNB Business Western Cape. Riders that participated in the 2016 events, or were placed on the 2016 waiting list, can enter the FNB W2W MTB Adventure, Ride or Race on Tuesday, 14 February 2017 when entries open at 08:00. Both riders in the team need to be on the 2016 database to register during the preferential period. Public entries will open at 08h00 on Wednesday, 01 March 2017. EVENT INFORMATION: FNB Wines2Whales MTB Events Starting in the Winelands of Somerset West, riders will cross through (and over) 13 wineries, 26 private farms, six mountains, historic roads and mountain passes, nature conservation areas (including the Kogelberg Biosphere) before finishing within sight of the famous whales of Hermanus!• FNB Wines2Whales MTB Adventure: Friday, 27 October 2017 – Sunday, 29 October 2017 • FNB Wines2Whales MTB Ride: Monday, 30 October 2017 – 01 November 2017 • FNB Wines2Whales MTB Race: Friday, 03 November 2017 – Sunday, 05 November 2017 Entry Fees: Entry Option 1: includes meals R12 000 per team (R6000 per rider) Entry Option 2: includes meals and standard tented accommodation R13 500 per team (R6750 per rider) Entry Option 3: includes meals and luxury tented accommodation R18 000 per team (R9000 per rider) Entries are limited to 650 teams (1300 riders) per event and will be accepted on a first come first served basis. Once the entry limit has been reached, riders will be placed on a waiting list. Only paid entries are guaranteed a spot on the start line.
  21. “This will be the first time that I perform for a group of mountain bikers,” says Hilton. “Whether my audience is made up of cyclists, gymnasts, ballerinas, rugby players or chefs - they all have one thing in common though - everyone loves to laugh. A three day mountain bike stage race would be a real challenge for me. I definitely admire the determination of each and every rider. Whether my performance will include MTB related material, the riders will just have to come and see.”Fun fact: As a youngster, Hilton struggled to remember people’s names. He then started calling every one ‘my cousin’, a name that has stuck until this day. Hilton’s performance will take place before prize giving after Stage Two of the FNB W2W MTB Adventure, Ride and Race.
  22. front to back): Team Kross Bikes BiXS Pro’s Konny Looser and Fabian Giger in action during Stage Three of the 2016 FNB Wines2Whales Mountain Bike (MTB) Race. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg Looser and Giger put down the hammer from the start of Stage Three at Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw), resulting in a lightning fast Stage Three finishing time of 02 hours 38 minutes 44 seconds. According to Looser, the plan was to go out hard from the start. “We were here to win,” says Looser. “The stage was perfect for us. We made our break on the long downhill section after the Houw Hoek Inn. We just put down the hammer, kept our own pace and made up time. It’s lovely to be crowned the overall W2W Champions. We had some bad luck during the first stage, but the best team won today.” “Everything went according to plan,” says Giger. “We had an amazing day. The legs felt good and we had no mechanical issues. I really enjoyed the race. The trails, venue and people are really nice. It was three days of really good racing.” Although the leading team going into Stage Three, Investec-Songo-Specialized’s Christoph Sauser and Sam Gaze had to settle for an overall 8th place stage finish. “It was just one of those days,” says Gaze. “I didn’t have the legs. Sauser really looked after me. Although we didn’t have a good stage, I absolutely loved the weekend. This is my favorite stage race that I’ve done so far. I am hoping to do more in the future.” “We had three days of awesome riding,” says Sauser. “W2W is challenging, but it’s not too hard. I love it.” Team Telkom’s Hendrik Kruger and Johann Rabie secured the second spot on the podium after three days of racing, while Team NAD Pro MTB’s Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell finished third. Team Ascendis Health’s Robyn De Groot and Jennie Stenerhag secured their second stage victory and the overall Women’s Champions Title on the day. “Today was awesome,” says Stenerhag. “We had a good race. Robyn and I have been riding together for three years. W2W was a fantastic race to close off the season.” “The year has had some good ups and some taxing downs,” says De Groot. “W2W is a super way to finish our last race. It’s a fantastic event that just keeps improving. It’s still one of my favourites.” Team Ascendis Health’s completed Stage Three in 03 hours 02 minutes 38 seconds, taking their combined finishing time for three days of racing to 09 hours 14 minutes 38 seconds. Team Spur’s Ariane Kleinhans and Cherie Redecker placed second on the day and second overall after three days of racing. “I suffered on the long flats in the beginning,” says Redecker. “Ariane did a great job motivating me. I got my mojo back at the single track at water point two.” “It was super cool riding with Cherie,” says Kleinhans. “Having worked on the event in the past, Cherie was just getting cheers from everyone along the route. This shows the type of person that she is. Everyone loves her. It also just proves that it’s not all about the money, but rather about the experience.” Team Dormakaba Time Freight’s Candice Neethling and Vera Adrian secured the third spot on the podium after three days of racing. Team Merchants’ Martin and Jeannie Dreyer secured their third stage victory in 03 hours 20 minutes and their overall Mixed Team Champion’s Title in a combined time of 10 hours 51 seconds. According to Martin, W2W is an incredible event. “We were really treated well at this event and I got to spend time with a loved one. All three stages are just so different. I absolutely loved it.” Team SAICA Global Asp’s Ila Stow and Marc Wells secured the second spot on the podium after three days of racing, while Team CFP CYCLETEC Mixed Genevieve Weber and Nichol Jordaan finished third. Stage Three, the final destination stage, kicked off at the beautiful Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw). Riders were treated to a 69km route (featuring a 1200m climb) from the winelands to the ocean. Iconic sections on route included: 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 Beach Crossing, the PERI river crossing and then finally crossing the finish line by the sea. “Year after year, the FNB Wines2Whales continues to grow stronger, proving why it is one of the most respected and sought-after MTB events in the South African sporting calendar. This event is aligned to our belief that adventure is the heart of innovation and we are delighted to be in a position to enable this experience for MTB enthusiasts, including our clients. Congratulations to all the participants, especially the winners of the three stages, who went the extra-mile and displayed resilience until the finish line,” said Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO of FNB Business. FNB Wines2Whales Top Results:RESULTS FNB W2W MTB Race Stage Three.xlsx
  23. Team Kross Bikes BiXS Pro’s Konny Looser and Fabian Giger obliterated the final stage of the FNB Wines2Whales Mountain Bike (MTB) Race on Sunday, 13 November 2016, securing the overall Champions Title in an impressive combined time of 08 hours 03 minutes 50 seconds after three days of racing. Click here to view the article
  24. (front to back): Team Spur’s Ariane Kleinhans and Cherie Redecker in action during Stage Two of the FNB W2W MTB Race. Photo Credit: David Tarpey Both the men’s and women’s race ended in an exciting sprint finish with Team Kross Bikes BiXS Pro’s Konny Looser and Fabian Giger pipping Team Investec-Songo-Specialized’s Christoph Sauser and Sam Gaze to the finish, while Team Spur’s Ariane Kleinhans and Cherie Redecker outsprinted Team Ascendis Health’s Robyn De Groot and Jennie Stenerhag. “Today was absolutely great,” says Giger. “The W2W routes are great, the food is good and there’s a really nice vibe.” Team Kross Bikes BiXS Pro completed Stage Two in a lightning fast time of 02 hours 34 minutes 17 seconds. Investec-Songo-Specialized’s Christoph Sauser and Sam Gaze came in second, while Team Telkom’s Hendrik Kruger and Johann Rabie finished third. According to Looser, the plan was to go out as hard as possible. “We battled with Team Investec-Songo-Specialized. We tried everything, but they just stayed on our wheels. We are happy with the stage win.” “I can’t believe how amazing the trails are,” says Gaze. “Riding with Sauser is a real pleasure. I learn something new every day. My game plan for Stage Three is just to hang onto Sauser and survive. I am looking forward to it.” “W2W is a benchmark event,” says Sauser. “Each year you think that it’s impossible for the event to improve, but each year the organizers are a step ahead. There is always a good field. Our revs are always at its highest.” “This is the first time that I get ‘chicked’ on the finish,” says Karl Platt of Team Bulls referring to De Groot and Stenerhage beating them to the finish. “We’ve just come out of our off season, having had a good time at the beer festival in Germany. Coming into the event we decided that we’d see how our legs felt, but we knew that we wouldn’t be here to win. Today’s stage was fun, there was a lot of single track and the weather was really nice. W2W is something special. There is such a nice, relaxing atmosphere.” Team Spur’s Ariane Kleinhans and Cherie Redecker claimed the Stage Two victory in 02 hours 55 minutes 54 seconds. “W2W can’t get better,” says Kleinhans. “We went flat out from the gun. Team Ascendis Health brought their A game. They are really strong and kept attacking. We’re really happy to be able to get ahead of them and cross the finish line first. Tomorrow we’ll give our all. Anything can happen in mountain biking.” “We struggled to get away,” says De Groot. “Team Spur tried, but we managed to stick with them. We lost nothing and gained nothing today. W2W is a wonderful race. It’s the attention to detail that stands out. The pros definitely look forward to it every year.” Team Dormakaba Time Freight’s Candice Neethling and Vera Adrian rounded off the podium on the day. Team Merchants’ Martin and Jeannie Dreyer claimed gold in the mixed team race in an impressive time of 03 hours 15 minutes 57 seconds. Team SAICA Global Asp Ila’s Stow and Marc Wells came in second, while Team CFP CYCLETEC Mixed’s Genevieve Weber and Nichol Jordaan finished third. Going into Stage Three, Team Investec-Songo-Specialized’s Christoph Sauser and Sam Gaze is leading the men’s race, followed by Team Kross Bikes BiXS Pro’s Konny Looser and Fabian Giger in second place and Team Telkom’s Hendrik Kruger and Johann Rabie in third place. Team Ascendis Health’s Robyn De Groot and Jennie Stenerhage are currently leading the women’s race, followed by Team Spur’s Ariane Kleinhans and Cherie Redecker in second place and Team Dormakaba Time Freight’s Candice Neethling and Vera Adrian in third place. Team Merchants’ Martin and Jeannie Dreyer are in the lead in the mixed team race, followed by Team SAICA Global Asp Ila’s Stow and Marc Wells and Team CFP CYCLETEC Mixed’s Genevieve Weber and Nichol Jordaan. After breaking the ice on Stage One, Stage Two treated riders to what has affectionately become known as the W2W’s ‘Play Day’. Consisting of a fun-filled 64km route (with 1400m ascent), Stage Two includes some of W2W’s most iconic sections such as: the Paul Cluver Amphi Bike Park with well-known MTB features including Raka, Swing, Ark, Cobra (switch-backs), Mamba, Boomslang, Pofadder, Jakkels, Pine Singles (now with dual and cross-overs) and the Berms. The day’s action was closed off with the upgraded triple storeyed KROMCO-PERI Bike Park, which stands an impressive 6 – 8m above ground. Stage Three of the 2016 FNB W2W MTB Race, the final destination stage from the winelands to the ocean, will see riders leave the Race Village at Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw) on Sunday, 13 November 2016, take on a 69km journey (with 1200m climb) before crossing the finish line at Onrus Caravan Park (just outside Hermanus). FNB Wines2Whales Race top results:RESULTS FNB W2W MTB Race Stage Two.xlsx Stage Three: Sunday 13 November 2016 Start Time: 07:00 Start Venue: Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw) Finish Venue: Onrus Caravan Park (just outside Hermanus). Distance & Climb: 69km / 1200m Family and friends wanting to show support on the final stage can download the Event’s Spectator Guide here: http://wines2whales.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Spectator-Guide.png
  25. Stage Two of the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Race saw an exciting turn of events unfold at the Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw) on Saturday, 12 November 2016 with a sprint finish in both the men’s and women’s races resulting in new stage winners being crowned on the day. Click here to view the article
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