Clear skies greeted just over 1320 excited mountain bikers at the picturesque Lourensford Wine Estate this morning for the start of Stage One of the FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Adventure.
Celebrating its 9th anniversary this year, Stage One of the Western Cape’s premier three day MTB stage race saw riders having to complete a 64km route that featured a 1650m ascent before crossing the finish line at Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw), their home for the weekend.
Team Sukkel Sukkel’s Francois Theron and Fritz Pienaar put down the hammer in the men’s race crossing the finish line first in a time of 03 hours 36 minutes 08 seconds. “Stage One was a nice journey from point to point. Our plan was to go as fast as we could to get to the single track first,” says Theron. Waldo Zevenster and Carl Toua of Team Dream Real Digital came in second, while Christo Toua Toua and Gareth Harrington of Team Epic Grid rounded off the podium.
Lolita Van Aardt and Simone Rhoda Van Aardt of Team Like Mother Like Daughter were the ladies to beat claiming gold in 04 hours 35 minutes 28 seconds. “The course was fantastic,” says Lolita. “It was really windy today, but the water points were fantastic and the stage was great. This is the third year that Simone and I ride together. We like the atmosphere and the stages are nice and short. The first stage is always tough. We’re really looking forward to Play Day.” Janine Muller and Mari du Toit of Team Oakley Group Girls came in second, while Erica Green and Reinette Geldenhuis of Team Wines2Whales finished third.
Team Rotsvas’ Anton and Adrienne Moolman were dominant in the Mixed Team race crossing the finish line in 03 hours 52 minutes 15 seconds. “The fan did not stop blowing today,” laughs Anton. “The trails were nice. We loved the scenery, flowers, atmosphere and Race Village. The event is just perfectly organized. We’re really looking forward to tomorrow.” Petrus and Yzette Oelofse of Team Boys & Bikes came in second, while Hamish Knowles and Theresa Ralph of Team Galileo Risk finished third.
EVENT INFORMATION: FNB Wines2Whales MTB Adventure
Stage Two: Saturday, 28 October 2017
Start Venue: Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)
Finish Venue: Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)
Start Time: 07:00
EXCITING PRIZE – This year one lucky rider (per event) will take home a magnificent 2018 Specialized Epic Comp Carbon mountain bike to the value of R59 000.