Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw) was a hub of excitement on Wednesday, 05 November 2014 when eager mountain bikers toed the line one last time to take on the third and final stage of the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Ride that finished at Onrus Caravan Park (just outside Hermanus).

According to FNB W2W MTB Director, Johan Kriegler, 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.  After completing the 73km Stage Three route, riders could boast with a total tally of 213km travelled off road over the three day period.

Frikkie Hartog and Gerard Dirks of Team Knersus successfully defended their men’s team title completing the three day stage race in a combined time of 10 hours 33 minutes 52 seconds.  According to Hartog, the stage was very nice.  “We started in the front group and rode with the Specialized Team up until the 52km mark, where we managed to drop them.  Unfortunately my bike punctured at the Hemel en Aarde section.  That is cycling for you.  You can’t do anything about it.  The FNB Wines2Whales ticks all three very important boxes:  good organization, good food and good routes”.  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.

Competition was rife in the mixed team category with a mere 12 seconds gap separating first and second placed riders going into Stage Three.  Petrus and Yzette Oelofse of Team Boys And Bikes were the victors on the day completing the three stages in a combined time of 11 hours 56 minutes 18 seconds.  “Today was a much better day for us,” said Yzette.  “Stage three featured my kind of riding, good climbing and district roads.  We worked really well as a team, taking turns to sit in front.  The scenery at the Wines2Whales is beautiful.  It’s just such a good feeling when you see the sea and the waves.  This event will definitely be heaven for the single track junky”.  Tamaryn Kietzmann and Nicholas Porteous of Team Specialized Duo came in second, while Colette Willemse and Edrich Fivaz  finished third.

German competitors Susanne Rathgeb and Nicole Kuttruff of Team Craft Rocky Mountain Girls claimed their hat-trick win of the weekend completing the three stages in a combined time of 13 hours 07 minutes 19 seconds.  “Today was perfect,” said Kuttruff.  “The trail was a combination of Stage One and Stage Two.  It was faster and technically perfect, outstanding trails.  I’d recommend the Wines2Whales to everybody”.  Nienke Van Schaik and Kasha Dickie of Team Extreme Lights came in second, while Caroline Schuermans and Janet Keet of Team Masikhule finished third.

“The Ride has certainly sustained the momentum built in the first stage. It is exciting to see intense competition balanced with a sense of enjoyment among the cyclists. Congratulations to the participants and the winners for their tenacity. We look forward to the last stage of the event and hope to finish this year’s competition on a high note,” said Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO FNB Business.

NEXT UPFNB Wines2Whales MTB Race  

Stage One / Friday, 07 November 2014

Start Venue:                      Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West)

Finish Venue:                    Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)

Distance:                             72km

Start Time:                          07:00

Stage Two / Saturday, 08 November 2014

Start Venue:                      Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)

Finish Venue:                    Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)

Distance:                             67km

Start Time:                          07:00

Stage Three / Sunday, 09 November 2014

Start Venue:                      Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)

Finish Venue:                    Onrus Caravan Park (just outside Hermanus)

Distance:                             74km

Start Time:                          07:00

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.


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