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) today, 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.

“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.

STAGE TWO: 

Start:                Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)
Finish:              Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)
Start Time:      07:00
Distance:         67km

Photo: Riders in action on Friday, 31 October 2014 during Stage One of the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Adventure. 
Photo Credit:  Volume Photography