The FNB Wines2Whales Ride kicked off today at Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West.
More than 1 200 mountain bikers were at the start line ready to take on the 72km route that included having to travel over the historic Gantouw Pass before reaching the finish line at Oak Valley Wine Estate in Elgin.
Last year’s champions Frikkie Hartog and Gerard Dirks of Team Knersus crossed the finish line first in a time of 3 hours, 47 minutes, and 24 seconds.
“Today was hard, but great,” said Dirks.
“The weather was humid, but ok. It would have been worse if it was sunny. We chased to stay out of the rain. This is definitely one of the best stage races.”
Fanie Steenkamp and Pierre Andre Knoetze of Team Xtreme Riders took second place, with Harry Orr and Ehlers Smit of Team The Fast Traks in third.
Yzette and Petrus Oelofse of Team Boys and Bikes took the win in the mixed team category, celebrating their eighth wedding anniversary on the same day.
“We actually wanted to take part in the FNB W2W MTB Race, but entries were already full so we entered the Ride instead. We don’t mind taking part on our anniversary, as it is something that we both enjoy and can do together.”
In the women’s category Susanne Rathgeb and Nicole Kuttruff of Team Craft Rocky Mountain Girls took the win, followed by Caroline Schuermans and Janet Keet of Team Masikhule, and Barbara Mulcahy and Sally Petersen of Team Karoo Sister Power in third.
View the results here.