Swiss mountain biking stars Christoph Sauser and Konny Looser will team up one more time to defend their title at the seventh annual FNB Wines2Whales Mountain Bike (MTB) Race that will start at the picturesque Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West) on Friday, 6 November. FNB W2W is a three day stage MTB Race. Starting in the Winelands of Somerset West, 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.
According to Sauser, the W2W route is challenging, but not too tough: ‘W2W is organized to perfection, offers an incredible route and the vibe is lovely. As mountain bikers Konny and I are well balanced. We can climb, have good endurance and are fast on the technical trails. I am basically retired from professional racing, but I will try my very best to keep up with the front riders. I might need a push from Konny here and there though.’ Looser says: ‘W2W is one of the best events that I’ve ever done. I really like the vibe and the route with all its awesome, smooth trails. It feels like surfing in the forest. Although finishing first in 2014 was a nice victory, the biggest victory for me was the pleasure of racing with Susi. Of course if you win a race once, you definitely want to win it again.’
Other top contenders will include: Erik Kleinhans and James Reid, Gawie Combrinck and Johann Rabie and brothers, Ivan and Jaco Venter. According to Kleinhans, entering W2W is an easy decision to make: ‘It is one of the highlights on the SA mountain biking calendar. It’s our last serious race of the season and apart from that it is also always good fun.’ Reid says: ‘I love that W2W is a point to point race. You start in Somerset West and finish in Hermanus. It’s a real highlights reel of some of the best areas in the Western Cape.’ The prize purse for the 2015 FNB W2W MTB Race has increased by R31 500, taking the overall total to a whopping R381 500.
The overall men’s team will take home a prize purse of R65 000 after Stage Three. Runners up will be awarded R30 000, while the final team on the podium will win R17 500. In addition to this impressive prize purse, the first men’s team to reach the ISUZU Hot Spot on Day Two will take home a well-deserved R5000.
EVENT INFORMATION: FNB Wines2Whales MTB Events
A three day stage MTB race, participants can choose between the fun-filled FNB W2W MTB Adventure, a slightly more relaxed FNB W2W MTB Ride and the action-packed FNB W2W MTB Race.
- FNB Wines2Whales MTB Adventure: Friday, 30 October 2015 – Sunday, 01 November 2015
- FNB Wines2Whales MTB Ride: Monday, 02 November 2015 – Wednesday, 04 November 2015
- FNB Wines2Whales MTB Race: Friday, 06 November 2015 – Sunday, 08 November 2015
Photo credit: Volume Photography