Riders treated to spectacular trails and views at FNB W2W MTB Ride Stage One
Near-perfect weather conditions greeted 1268 mountain bikers (634 teams) at the picturesque Lourensford Wine Estate on Monday, 07 November 2016 where they lined up for the start of the much anticipated FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Ride.
The first of two destination stages, Stage One saw riders having to complete a 68km MTB route (with 1420m ascent) from Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West) to the festival village at the majestic Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw), home for the next two days.
Phetetso Monese and Bruce Hughes of Team ACE Lesotho set a lightning fast pace, crossing the finish line first in 03 hours 07 minutes 39 seconds. According to Hughes, the stage was fantastic. “It was fast. The single track was stunning and well ridden thanks to the W2W Adventure riders that participated this past weekend. We started out hard in a sizeable group. At the Portage section we saw a gap and pushed hard over Gantouw. From there it was pretty much solo riding to the finish.”
“This is the second time that I take part in the W2W,” says Monese. “I really enjoyed the stage. It was a fun day. We definitely want to go for the win.” Team KAP Prochorus’ Lorenzo Le Roux and Daniel Mannweiler came in second, while Team Lantau Buffaloes’ HP Odendaal and Daniel Carleton finished third.
The FNB W2W MTB Ride has attracted the attention of well-known SA downhill mountain biker, Darryn Stow. “This is my first W2W,” says Stowe. “Today’s stage probably suited our style the least. The open roads are perfect for the powerful riders. Stage Two and Three will be better for us though. We’d love to make top three.” Stow and team mate, Graeme Dale Kuys of Team More Cowbell finished 4th on the day.
Russell Lund and Anneke Hanekom of Team Haaskat crossed the finish line first in the Mixed Team category in 03 hours 37 minutes 03 seconds. Team Bike Hub’s Nicholas Webb and Kylie Hanekom came in second, while Team Citricom 2’s Jeanie De Villiers and Piet Laubscher finished third.
Proving that mountain biking is in their blood Alta Kriegler and Sunette Beyers, twin sisters of Johan Kriegler (FNB W2W MTB Director), were also seen in action on the day. “We really enjoyed the stage,” says Beyers. “This is our first W2W. My sister and I only recently started riding as a team. It’s really nice to take part with her.”
Team Companero’s Jana Kruger and Ilse Viljoen were the ladies to beat in the women’s race, crossing the line first in 04 hours 07 minutes 59 seconds. Team Sterri Stumpi & Beer’s Meike Aschenbroich and Inky Talbot came in second, while Team Vergelegen’s Alta Kriegler and Sunette Beyers finished third.