Wines2Whales Adventure: Round-up

Day 1: Tough Day in the Saddle at FNB W2W MTB Adventure

The much anticipated FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Adventure kicked off at Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West) on, Friday, 31 October 2014.

Teams of two (men, women and mixed) had to complete a challenging 72km route that included trekking 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).

Charel Uys and Rikus Visser of Team Uystervis claimed victory in the men’s category crossing the finish line in an impressive time of 04 hours 01 minute 09 seconds for the day.  “Today was tough,” said Uys.  “We rode really hard on the climbs.   Rikus was much stronger than me.  The stage was very nice and we really enjoyed the single track, especially towards the end.  Our plan for Stage Two is just to take it as it comes”.  Anton Koller and Gregor Krall of Team Rehidrat Sport came in second, while Joel Stransky and Jeremy Thomson of Team Rugby Celeb Team 2 finished third.

Theresa Ralph and Michael Petersen of Team RBS set the stage on fire in the mixed category claiming gold in a well-deserved time of 04 hours 27 minutes 39 seconds.  Ralph, who will be taking part competitively in the FNB W2W MTB Race the weekend of 07 – 09 November 2014, is using the FNB W2W MTB Adventure as a route recce.  “This is my first FNB W2W MTB Event,” says Ralph.  “It’s nice to be able to check out the trails and look at the view for a change.  I won’t get to do much of that at the Race.  The route was stunning, featuring amazing views and wow single track.  It’s a world class Cape Town event,” says Ralph.  Neill Ungerer and Thea-Mari Van Der Sandt of Team Scott 2 Lovit came in second, while Jason and Emma Pienaar of Team PharmaChoice Mixed finished third.

Although suffering a serious mechanical 40km into the stage, Lolita Van Aardt and Nadia Visser of Team Tailormade Properties managed to maintain their lead claiming gold in the women’s category in 04 hours 45 minutes 03 seconds.  “My free wheel body broke approximately 40km into the stage,” says Van Aardt.  “We tried fixing it with cable ties.  Nadia had to help me up the hills with me literally having to hold onto her.  We’re looking forward to tomorrow”.

Although The Cape Doctor proved to be a factor during Stage One, both Van Aardt and Visser agreed that they’d take the wind over rain any day.  Kathy Crabbe and Wendy Potgieter of Team Specialized Songo claimed the second spot on the podium in the women’s category, while Desiree Strydom and Arlien Mattheus of Team Ongegund finished third.

Michael Creedon and Andrew Davies of Team Oakhaven-Granite were on top form on Saturday, 01 November 2014 claiming gold in the men’s category of the FNB W2W MTB Adventure in a time of 03 hours 18 minutes 31 seconds. Seen here (from left to right): Michael Creedon and Andrew Davies in action on the day. Photo by: Volume Photography
Michael Creedon and Andrew Davies of Team Oakhaven-Granite were on top form on Saturday, 01 November 2014 claiming gold in the men’s category of the FNB W2W MTB Adventure in a time of 03 hours 18 minutes 31 seconds. Seen here (from left to right): Michael Creedon and Andrew Davies in action on the day. Photo by: Volume Photography

Day 2: Stage Two of the FNB W2W MTB Adventure Delivers Riveting Riding

Fondly referred to as the Play Day, Stage Two of the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Adventure started at Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw) and saw riders having to complete a 67km route that included the best bridges and structures built for the sport of mountain biking before crossing the finish line for one last time at Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw).

Theresa Ralph and Michael Petersen of Team RBS secured their second stage victory completing the 67km route in an impressive time of 03 hours 40 minutes 15 seconds.  “Today was amazing,” says Ralph.  “The bridges featured during Stage Two are unbelievable.  The Paul Cluver Amphi Bike Park is beautiful, something different, while the structure at Kromco is great fun, cool, flat and fast.  The first two stages of the FNB W2W MTB Adventure have been world class.  I am happy to be getting in some last minute training before the FNB W2W MTB Race”.  Coenie Thomas and Leorine De Wet of Team Operation Smile SA came in second, while Neill Ungerer and Thea-Mari Van Der Sandt of Team Scott2Lovit finished third.

Lolita Van Aardt and Nadia Visser of Team Tailormade Properties also secured their second stage victory crossing the finish line in 03 hours 49 minutes 32 seconds.  According to Van Aardt Stage Two featured beautiful scenery.  “We are very happy not to have had any mechanical issues today.  The event has been fantastic, from the food to the weather.  We will take tomorrow as it comes”.  Kathy Crabbe and Wendy Potgieter of Team Specialized Songo came in second, while Desiree Strydom and Arlien Mattheus of Team Ongegund finished third.

Competition was rife in the men’s race.  Michael Creedon and Andrew Davies of Team Oakhaven-Granite were on top form claiming gold in a time of 03 hours 18 minutes 31 seconds.  Joel Stransky and Jeremy Thomson of Team Rugby Celeb Team 2 came in second, while Anton Koller and Gregor Krall of Team Rehidrat Sport finished third.

Self-proclaimed roadies, Ivor Potgieter and Erik Saayman of Team Dirty Roadies, were very excited to have Stage Two under the belt.  “We might not be able to ride single track, but at least we were the first two people to order a cold beer from the bar,” laughs Potgieter, who has added the FNB W2W MTB Adventure to his bucket list to do with his wife.

 

Team Tailormade Properties’ Lolita Van Aardt and Nadia Visser were the women’s team to beat at the 2014 FNB Wines2Whales MTB Adventure completing the three day’s riding in a combined time of 12 hours 33 minutes 08 seconds. Seen here (front to back): Lolita Van Aardt and Nadia Visser in action on the day. Photo by: Cherie Vale |NEWSPORT MEDIA
Team Tailormade Properties’ Lolita Van Aardt and Nadia Visser were the women’s team to beat at the 2014 FNB Wines2Whales MTB Adventure completing the three day’s riding in a combined time of 12 hours 33 minutes 08 seconds. Seen here (front to back): Lolita Van Aardt and Nadia Visser in action on the day. Photo by: Cherie Vale |NEWSPORT MEDIA

Day 3: Onrus Welcomes Home FNB W2W Adventure Riders

Sunday, 02 November 2014 saw FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Adventure riders bid farewell to Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw), their home for the past two days as they journeyed towards the finish line at Onrus Caravan Park (just outside Hermanus) where family and hopefully a few whales waited in anticipation to welcome them home.

Stage Three consisted of a 73km route that, once completed, took the total number of kilometers traveled off road over a three day period to 213km.  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.

Although the second team to cross the finish line on the day, Michael Creedon and Andrew Davies of Team Oakhaven-Granite secured the overall men’s category title completing the 2014 FNB W2W MTB Adventure in the fastest combined time of 10 hours 57 minutes 27 seconds.  According to Davies, they opted to be a little more tactical going into the stage.  “We had a big ride on Stage Two, so we expected today’s stage to be a bit more difficult.  The rugby players are strong and showed their wisdom and international sporting experience.  Although we spent most of our time on each other’s back wheels, we did manage to catch a glimpse of the scenery while watching the highlights videos each night in the rider tent.  The FNB Wines2Whales is a memorable experience”.  Joel Stransky and Jeremy Thomson of Team Rugby Celeb Team 2 came in second, while Anton Koller and Gregor Krall of Team Rehidrat Sport finished third.

Theresa Ralph and Michael Petersen of Team RBS secured a hat trick stage win, securing the overall title in a well-deserved time of 11 hours 57 minutes 03 seconds.  “Today’s stage was deceiving,” said Ralph.  “You think you’re going downhill, when you’re actually climbing and the climbs worked you.  Stage Three is definitely one of my best days.  I’m from Johannesburg, so coming up the hill and seeing the sea, it’s like a magnet for me.  The riders living in Cape Town are definitely spoilt with their riding conditions”.  Neill Ungerer and Thea-Mari Van Der Sandt of Team Scott 2 Lovit claimed the second spot on the podium while Coenie Thomas and Leorine De Wet of Team Operation Smile SA finished third.

Team Tailormade Properties’ Lolita Van Aardt and Nadia Visser were the women’s team to beat completing the three day’s riding in a combined time of 12 hours 33 minutes 08 seconds.  “Today was hot,” said Visser.    “The stage was tougher than expected, but we had fun.  I’d recommend the FNB Wines2Whales to other riders because of the atmosphere, the fantastic organization and the natural beauty”.  Kathy Crabbe and Wendy Potgieter of Team Specialized Songo came in second, while Desiree Strydom and Arlien Mattheus of Team Ongegund finished third.

 FNB WINES2WHALES MTB

Next Up:  FNB Wines2Whales MTB Ride   

Stage One: Monday, 03 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: Tuesday, 04 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 / Wednesday, 05 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

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

*