Riders descend on Onrus at FNB W2W MTB Adventure

Mountain bikers in action during Stage Three of the FNB Wines2Whales MTB Adventure.  Photo Credit:  Tobias Ginsberg

Mountain bikers in action during Stage Three of the FNB Wines2Whales MTB Adventure. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg

Stage of the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Adventure was met with high spirits on Sunday, 28 October 2017 with mountain bikers preparing to say goodbye to the winelands as they head out on a magnificent 71km journey from Oak Valley Wine Estate to the Onrus Caravan Park.
Team Sukkel Sukkel’s Francois Theron and Fritz Pienaar obliterated the field completing Stage Three in 03 hours 03 minutes 27 seconds, securing their second stage victory for the weekend. They also claimed the overall victory for all three days in an impressive combined time of 09 hours 56 minutes 59 seconds over 210km. “Our legs came together today,” says Theron. “It was a great finish after three days of racing. We didn’t really train, but the trails made up for it. The FNB W2W MTB Adventure was a lot of fun.”

“Francois’ legs were around the whole weekend. Mine only came today,” laughs Pienaar. “Stage Three is the real play day for me. The single track is great. It’s the perfect end to the weekend. The FNB W2W MTB Adventure was amazing.”

Team Dream Real Digital’s Waldo Zevenster and Carl Toua secured the second spot on the podium after three days of racing, with Team Stoneys’ Vernon Visser and Tim Ellerbeck coming in third.

Team Like Mother Like Daughter’s Lolita Van Aardt and Simone Rhoda Van Aardt secured victory in the women’s race completing three days of racing in a combined time of 12 hours 20 minutes 43 seconds. “I’m not in the greatest shape this year,” laughs Lolita. “Simone killed me. She’s super strong. Wines2Whales is a great event for families. There are fathers riding with sons, while brothers and sisters also team up. It is great for the whole family. The stages aren’t too long. I would suggest that you train though. It really does make the event more enjoyable.”

Team Oakley Group Girls’ Janine Muller and Mari du Toit secured the second spot on the podium, with Team Wines2Whales’ Erica Green and Reinette Geldenhuis finishing third.

Team Rotsvas’ Anton and Adrienne Moolman claimed victory in the mixed team category completing all three stages in a deserving combined time of 10 hours 40 minutes 12 seconds. “Today was nice and fast,” says Adrienne. “We took advantage of the technical sections. Wines2Whales is really nice. It’s good riding and the chill zones are great.”

“This is definitely one of the best events in the country,” says Anton. “I’ll recommend it to all riders.”

Theresa Ralph and Hamish Knowles of Team Galileo Risk claimed the second spot on the podium after three days of racing, while Team Boys & Bikes’ Petrus and Yzette Oelofse finished third.

“Mountain Biking is a growing sport in South Africa with an increasingly diverse appeal and we are delighted to provide this incredible platform. We would like to congratulate the winners of the Adventure stage and all the participants who came out this year,” said Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO FNB Business.

Next Up: FNB Wines2Whales MTB Ride
Starting in the Winelands of Somerset West, riders will follow the tyre tracks of the Adventure riders, crossing 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!
Stage One: Monday, 30 October 2017 
Start Venue: Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West)  

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

Distance: 68km

Ascent: 1650m

Start Time: 07:00 

Stage Two: Tuesday, 31 October 2017

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

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

Distance: 71km

Ascent: 1350m

Start Time: 07:00

Stage Three: Wednesday, 01 November 2017 

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

Finish Venue:   Onrus Caravan Park

Distance: 71km

Ascent: 1200m

Start Time: 07:00

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


Recently acquired by Cape Epic (PTY) Ltd, FNB Wines2Whales is a three-day mountain bike stage race held in the Western Cape, South Africa. Founded in 2009, the annual event hosts four thousand riders competing in two-person teams over 70-80km per day. The race format consists of three consecutive, separate, but identical events over ten days (named ‘Adventure’, ‘Ride’ and ‘Race’) – allowing riders to choose the appropriate option that suits their level of competitiveness. With entries selling out each year, FNB Wines2Whales is regarded as South Africa’s premier three-day mountain bike stage race.


The Absa Cape Epic® is the world’s premier mountain bike stage race. The route changes every year, leading aspiring amateur and professional mountain bikers from around the world through roughly 650km of unspoilt scenery and 15,000m of accumulated climbing, over some of the most magnificent mountain passes in Western Cape in South Africa.  The Absa Cape Epic is the most televised mountain bike stage race in the world and the only eight-day mountain bike stage race classed as hors catégorie by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). This official UCI status makes it a highlight on the professional racer’s calendar. The Absa Cape Epic also attracts aspiring amateur riders wanting to test themselves against the best. It is a full-service race, meaning that everything is taken care of from the start – all riders need to think about is riding.

In 2017, Cape Epic was acquired by the IRONMAN group, part of Wanda Sports, to anchor a global portfolio of off-road events and to spearhead the development and expansion of a worldwide series of premium mountain-bike races.

For more information on the FNB Wines2Whales®, visit www.wines2whales.co.za

For more information on the Absa Cape Epic®, visit www.cape-epic.com

For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com