It was a cool start to the 2014 FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Ride at Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West) on Monday, 03 November 2014.  With the promise of rain looming, over 1200 eager mountain bikers toed the line to take on the 72km route that included having to trek over the historic Gantouw Pass, the only piece of trail to feature a compulsory portage, before crossing the finish line at Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw).

Reigning 2013 FNB W2W MTB Ride Champions, Frikkie Hartog and Gerard Dirks of Team Knersus put down the hammer crossing the finish line at Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw) first in an impressive time of 03 hours 47 minutes 24 seconds.  “Today was hard, but great,” said Dirks.  “The weather was humid, but ok.  It would have been worse if it was sunny.  We chased to stay out of the rain.  This is definitely one of the best stage races.  The course is clear, the routes are well marked and the atmosphere is great”.  Fanie Steenkamp and Pierre Andre Knoetze of Team Xtreme Riders came in second, while Harry Orr and Ehlers Smit of Team The Fast Traks finished third.

Not only did husband and wife duo Yzette and Petrus Oelofse of Team Boys and Bikes claim the top spot on the podium in the mixed team category they did so on their 8th wedding anniversary.  “We actually wanted to take part in the FNB W2W MTB Race, but entries were already full so we entered the Ride instead.  We don’t mind taking part on our anniversary, as it is something that we both enjoy and can do together.  The stage was challenging, but very nice with lots of single track and technical sections, a bit of something for everyone”.  Team Boys and Bikes completed the Stage One route in a deserving time of 04 hours 15 minutes 14 seconds.  Tamaryn Kietzmann and Nicholas Porteous of Team Specialized Duo came in second, while Jeanie de Villiers and Piet Van Rensburg of Team LGS Exports finished third.

In the women’s category Susanne Rathgeb and Nicole Kuttruff of Team Craft Rocky Mountain Girls took things in their stride, crossing the finish line first in 04 hours 39 minutes 46 seconds.  Caroline Schuermans and Janet Keet  of Team Masikhule came in second, while Barbara Mulcahy  and Sally Petersen of Team Karoo Sister Power finished third.

According to Johan Kriegler, FNB W2W MTB Director, stage one ran like a well-oiled machine.  “Tomorrow on Stage Two riders will get to experience the best bridges and structures built for the sport of mountain biking.

Look out for Witklippies, Raka, Swing, Ark, Mamba, Boomslang and Pofadder bridges.  Don’t worry about the height, as these structures are safe and equipped with safety nets on all sides.  Relax and keep calm.  Bend your arms and your legs.  Also enjoy the madly creative Peri Kromco Play Park”.

STAGE TWO:  Tuesday, 04 November 2014

Start: Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)
Finish: Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)
Start Time: 07:00
Distance: 67km

STAGE THREE:  Wednesday, 05 November 2014  

Start: Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)
Finish: Onrus Caravan Park (just outside Hermanus)
Start Time: 07:00
Distance: 73km

The FNB Wines2Whales MTB Race will take place this coming weekend, 07 – 09 November 2014 and will follow the same route as the FNB W2W MTB Adventure and Ride.

Like the Facebook page: Wines2Whales

Follow the race on Twitter: @w2wmtb

All 2014 FNB W2W MTB riders (Adventure, Ride and Race) stand the chance to win a magnificent Specialized mountain bike in the #MySpecializedDraw.  Valued at a whopping R50 000.00 per event, the #MySpecializedDraw includes a Body Geometry Fit Session.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.