W2W Ride delivers riveting mountain biking

Seen here:  Chrizelda Walters in action during Stage Three of the FNB Wines2Whales MTB Ride on Wednesday, 04 November 2015.  Photo Credit:  Volume Photography

Seen here: Chrizelda Walters in action during Stage Three of the FNB Wines2Whales MTB Ride on Wednesday, 04 November 2015. Photo Credit: Volume Photography

Cape Town – The 2015 FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Ride culminated at the Onrust Caravan Park (just outside of Hermanus) on Wednesday, 04 November 2015.

The event saw 1300 mountain bikers (650 teams of two) take on the 214km journey from Somerset West to Onrust over a three day period.

Although crossing the finish line in third place on the day, Tyler Day and JC Jooste of Team Bianchi/Westvaal knew that their efforts over the past three days had secured them the overall title in the men’s race. “We adopted a defensive role today,” said Jooste. “We knew that we only needed to keep up with the two leading teams. Shortly after water point two Tyler fell. We caught the leading guys again, but then after water point three Tyler hit a wall. We just pampered each other until we reached the finish. For me today’s single track was way nicer than that of Stage Two. It’s in the shade and fast flowing. W2W is definitely the best mountain biking experience, from the accommodation to the food, tents, single track and competitors. We will definitely be back next year.” Team Bianchi/Westvaal completed the three stages in a combined time of 09 hours 55 minutes 34 seconds. Michael Potton and Theuns Goosen of Team FLM9 came in second, while Heiko Redecker and Graeme Kuys of Team FLM8 finished third.

With a combined finishing time of 11 hours 12 minutes 14 seconds, the mixed team title was firmly secured by Team Merida’s Warrick Kernes and Nicolette Griffioen. According to Griffioen, Stage Three was fast paced from the start. “Warrick’s bike had a mechanical on round about the 20km mark. It took us at least ten minutes to sort it out. We managed to catch all but one of the teams that had passed us. W2W has been a learning curve for me. The event is well organised, definitely the best that I’ve been to. We’re really happy to take the mixed team title. Maybe next year we can take part in the race.” Petrus Oelofse and Yzette Oelofse of Team Boys and Bikes came in second, while Francois Malan and Jeanie De Villiers of Team Citricom2 finished third.

Michele Du Toit and Beverley Wood of Team Fast in Frannies where the ladies to beat, claiming gold in a combined finishing time of 13 hours 43 minutes 35 seconds.   Barbara Mulcahy and Sally Petersen of Team Karoo Sister Power came in second, while Michelle Zulch and Riana Howlett of Team S-Works finished third.

“The Ride has certainly been highly exciting this year. It is inspiring to see the intense competition, varying levels of fitness and skills showcased by the cyclists who took part. It’s also great to see cyclists demonstrating a sense of enjoyment during the contest because this is what the competition is all about. Congratulations to the participants and the winners as we approach the last stage of the 2015 FNB Wines2Whales edition,” said Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO FNB Business.

The much anticipated FNB W2W MTB Race will kick off at the picturesque Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West) at 07:00 on Friday, 06 November 2015. Teams of two riders will cross 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!

Top riders to look out for will include: Christoph Sauser and Konny Looser, Erik Kleinhans and James Reid, Gawie Combrinck and Johann Rabie, brothers Ivan and Jaco Venter, Ariane Kleinhans and Candice Neethling as well as Jennie Stenehag and Robyn De Groot.

Stage Information:

Stage One

Start Venue:                     Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West)

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

Distance:                            72km

Ascent:                           1620m

Stage Two

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

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

Distance:                            67km

Ascent:                          1366m

Stage Three

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

Finish Venue:                                     Onrust Caravan Park (just outside Hermanus)

Distance:                            75km

Ascent:                                                  1300m

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Follow us on Twitter: @w2wmtb

For more information on the FNB Wines2Whales MTB events contact 083 760 3158, e-mail race@wines2whales.co.za, adventure@wines2whales.co.za or ride@wines2whales.co.za or visit www.wines2whales.co.za

About FNB Wines2Whales:

FNB Business and FNB Private Wealth have made a joint commitment to sponsor the annual Wines2Whales Mountain Bike Events.

FNB’s ongoing strategy is to support local and community events that show the potential to grow. This sponsorship affirms our dedication to providing an experience that is beyond expectation, through a sport that continues to grow in popularity as one of the key activities in the South African sporting calendar. The annual FNB Wines2Whales Mountain Bike Events are aligned to our belief that adventure is the heart of innovation and this is one of many platforms on which we seek to make a lasting connection with new and existing clients.

Contact

FNB Business- If your business is going far, we can help you get there.

Email: zak.sivalingum@fnb.co.za

FNB Private Wealth – We help you grow, manage, protect and enjoy your wealth.

Email: nsolomon@fnbprivateclients.co.za