Team RECM’s James Reid and Erik Kleinhans continued their winning streak at Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw) on Saturday, 07 November 2015 after completing Stage Two of the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Race in an impressive time of 02 hours 33 minutes 57 seconds.
Starting and finishing at the picturesque Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw), Stage Two has affectionately been dubbed ‘Play Day’. A single track haven, the 67km route featured a 1366m ascent and included the exhilarating Paul Cluver Bike Park and single tracks as well as the Kromco Play Park.
“It was fantastic riding out front with Matthew and Stephan,” said Reid. “We train together and are really good friends. It was great working with them to stay ahead of the other teams. I’ve only ever taken part in W2W with my father, so I’ve never raced it. It is easier riding out in front, the terrain is easier and the track is clear. We didn’t expect to be the stronger team on the day. We’ll definitely be less aggressive going into Stage Three.” Matthew Beers and Stephan Senekal of Team Red-E came in second, while Waylon Woolcock and Darren Lill of Team USN Purefit finished third.
Candice Neethling and Ariane Kleinhans of Team RECM Ladies crossed the finish line in 02 hours 57 minutes 44 seconds, a mere 36 seconds ahead of race leaders Robyn De Groot and Jennie Stenerhag of Team Ascendis Health. “We had a very nice day on the bike,” said Kleinhans. “Robyn and Jennie are very strong. The entire time they were either just in front of us or just behind us. They did what they needed to. Stage Two is so much fun. It’s fast and actually feels like you’re flying. That is how mountain biking should be. Going into Stage Three, we’ll just try our best and hope for a chance.” Robyn De Groot and Jennie Stenerhag of Team Ascendis Health came in second, while Theresa Ralph and Samantha Sanders of Team Galileo Risk Valencia finished third.
Husband and wife duo Carl Pasio and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio of Team Bigla set the pace in the mixed team category, claiming gold in a time of 03 hours 04 minutes 52 seconds. “Today was a technical day with lots of single track,” said Moolman-Pasio. “I had to keep my wits about me. Riding single track isn’t my strength, but it is beautiful and the bridges were amazing. The short punchy climbs allowed me to make up on some time. W2W is tough riding, but the scenery is beautiful.” Yolandi Du Toit and Gordon Alan of Team Garmin Navworld came in second, while Andreas Studer and Carmen Buchacher of Team Craft cycling finished third.
The top three rankings going into Stage Three are as follows:
Men 1 Erik Kleinhans and James Reid / Team RECM 05:34:40, 2 Adriaan Louw and Hendrik Kruger / 05:44:11, 3 Konny Looser and Christoph Sauser / Investec Songo 05:45:14, 4 Matthew Beers and Stephan Senekal / Red-E 05:45:47, 5 Gawie Combrinck and Johann Rabie / EAI South Africa 05:45:57
Women 1 Robyn De Groot and Jennie Stenerhag / Ascendis Health 06:33:33, 2 Candice Neethling and Ariane Kleinhans / RECM Ladies 06:36:24, 3 Theresa Ralph and Samantha Sanders / Galileo Risk Valencia 06:59:21, 4 Janine Rawlinson and Carla Van Huyssteen / Time Freight E Team 07:31:29, 5 Michelle Lombardi and Hanlie Booyens / Tiletoria Ladies 07:36:55
Mixed 1 Carl Pasio and Ashleigh Moolman / Bigla 06:52:25, 2 Yolandi Du Toit and Gordon Alan / Garmin Navworld 06:55:33, 3 Andreas Studer and Carmen Buchacher / Craft cycling 06:57:30, 4 Kobus Barnard and Fienie Barnard / Kromco Barnards 07:01:28, 5 James Lennard and Katherine Lennard / Team Lennard 07:11:31
STAGE THREE: Sunday, 08 November 2015
Stage three will see riders bidding farewell to the Oak Valley Race Village that has been their home for the past two days. A mere 75km route is all that stands between them and the finish line at the Onrust Caravan Park. Route highlights will include the new Houwhoek trails, Wildekrans Wine Estate’s improved single tracks, Gaf-se-Bos and the new Hermanus – Euodia trails, including Onrust Gorge and Barrel Loop, which have replaced the final long climb of the day.
|Start:||Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)|
|Finish:||Onrust Caravan Park (just outside Hermanus)|
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 and women’s teams 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.