Clear skies greeted just over 1320 excited mountain bikers at the picturesque Lourensford Wine Estate this morning for the start of Stage One of the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Adventure.
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.
EVENT INFORMATION: FNB Wines2Whales MTB Adventure
Stage Two: Saturday, 28 October 2017
Start Venue: Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)
Finish Venue: Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)
Start Time: 07:00
EXCITING PRIZE – This year one lucky rider (per event) will take home a magnificent 2018 Specialized Epic Comp Carbon mountain bike to the value of R59 000.
For more information on the FNB Wines2Whales MTB events contact Chris on 083 760 3158, e-mail email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or visit www.wines2whales.co.za
ABOUT FNB WINES2WHALES
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.
ABOUT CAPE EPIC (PTY) Ltd and ABSA CAPE EPIC
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