Stage Two of the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Adventure, the much awaited ‘Play Day’, was welcomed with much enthusiasm on Saturday, 05 November 2016.
The only stage to start and finish at the same venue, Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw), mountain bikers had to complete a 64km route (with 1400 ascent) that included some of W2W’s most iconic sections such as the Paul Cluver Amphi Bike Park with well-known MTB features such as Raka, Swing, Ark, Cobra (switch-backs), Mamba, Boomslang, Pofadder, Jakkels, Pine Singles (now with dual and cross-overs) and the Berms. The Stage Three action was closed off with the triple storeyed KROMCO-PERI Bike Park, which stands an impressive 6 – 8m above ground.
A sprint finish saw Gavin Klerck and Lionel Murray of Team Freewheel Cycology clinch the Stage Two victory in 03 hours 08 minutes 46 seconds. “We lost a lot of time on Stage One due to technical issues, so today we decided early on to split things up,” says Murray. “Two or three teams came across. We just worked together to get a bigger gap. Our game plan worked perfectly. The trails are phenomenal. Play Day definitely lived up to its reputation.” Team GRW-LCC’s Dwain Butler and Rudi Pollard came in second, while Team SALiRE’s Robert Cragg and Charles Mcfall finished third.
Team Galileo Risk’s Theresa Ralph and Hamish Knowles secured their second stage victory of the weekend in a time of 03 hours 22 minutes 35 seconds. “Going into Stage Two we only had a +-45 second lead,” says Ralph. “So we started in front and stuck with the guys up the first climb. We thought we had a big gap on the second team, but when we reached the switchbacks at Thandi, the team just appeared. We pushed really hard to hold them off and increase our lead. The route was absolutely phenomenal.” Team At Last’s Philip Lambrecht and Jane Seggie came in second, while Team Recycles Racing’s Robert Kitching and Collette Bastard finished third.
Mother and daughter duo Lolita Van Aardt and Simone Rhoda Van Aardt of team SALiRE Women’s also secured their second stage victory of the weekend in a time of 03 hours 40 minutes. “Today was really nice,” says Lolita. “Out of the three stages, stage two is definitely the best. It was fantastic. This is also the best weather that the Adventure has ever had.” Team Pharmachoice Ladies’ Michelle Van Aswegen and Emma Pienaar came in second, while Sarah Davies and Beverley Wingfield finished third.
The 2016 FNB W2W MTB Adventure will close off on Sunday, 06 November 2016 with its final destination stage, from Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw) to the Onrus Caravan Park (just outside Hermanus):
Start Time: 07:00
Distance & Climb: 69km / 1200m