Onrus welcomes FNB W2W MTB Ride finishers

Seen here (from left to right):  Leonhard Lukoschek and Phetetso Monese in action during Stage Three.  Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg

The third and final stage of the 2017 FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Ride started at the picturesque Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw) on Wednesday, 01 November 2017.  Before crossing the finish line at Onrus Caravan Park riders had to complete an action packed 71km route that featured a 1200m ascent.

Iconic sections on the Stage Three route included passing the Houw Hoek Inn, the oldest hotel in South Africa, meandering through the quaint town of Botriver past the Botriver School, experiencing the magnificent Wildekrans and Hermanus Trails, Gaf-se-Bos, the Fruitways-Onrus Beach Crossing and the PERI-Onrus river crossing to name just a few.

The 2017 FNB W2W MTB Ride saw hat trick victories for the leading men’s, women’s and mixed team after Stage Three.

Team ACE Lesotho’s Leonhard Lukoschek (Germany) and Phetetso Monese (Lesotho) were on top form obliterating the 71km Stage Three route in 03 hours 22 seconds.   Team ACE Lesotho completed all three stages of the2017 FNB W2W MTB Ride, a combined total of 210km, in an impressive combined time of 09 hours 17 minutes 51 seconds.   “I really enjoyed W2W,” says Lukoschek.  “I enjoyed the nature and the people were amazing.  The support on route was unheard of.  It’s a totally different experience compared to one day races.”

According to Monese W2W was great.  “I am really happy with my partner.  I was worried in the beginning knowing that he’s not a mountain biker, but he did really well. Being able to successfully defend my title is a great feeling.  I am really happy with the win.”

Team Transporters’ Steven Bark and Fabian Valsechi placed second overall after three days of racing, with Team Tallboys’ Michael Van Niekerk and Trevor Baptiste coming in third.

In the mixed team race, Siblings Stephan and Mariske Strauss of Team Oak Racing claimed to take it easy on the day.  “Today was open roads and jeep track,” says Stephan.  “It was actually a rest day.  We just stuck with the bunch and they pulled us through until the end.”

“Today was hard but amazing,” says Mariske.  “A point to point stage is always nice.  Our Stage Three strategy was just to stick with the leading guys.  It was an absolute pleasure to ride with my brother.”

Team Oak Racing completed Stage Three in a well-deserved time of 03 hours 07 minutes 59 seconds.   Their combined winning time over all three stages is 09 hours 56 minutes 20 seconds.

Team Giant Durbanville’s Julien Louw and Colleen De Oliveira placed second overall after three days of racing, with Team Haaskat’s Russell Lund and Anneke Hanekom coming in third.

Team Defenders’ Jana Kruger and Ilse Viljoen complete Stage Three in 03 hours 42 minutes 28 seconds.  “We could feel stage one and two in our legs this morning,” says Kruger.  “I stumbled over an A-frame today.  Luckily my bike was fine and I only nicked my finger.  From there it was smooth sailing though.  The single track was lovely.  I really enjoyed it.”

“W2W was spectacular,” says Viljoen.  “This was the best ride ever.  We definitely want to come back next year.”

Team Defenders completed all three stages of the FNB W2W MTB Ride in a combined time of 11 hours 50 minutes 22 seconds.

Team Pace Of Mind’s Halcyone Muller and Heidi Nieuwoudt placed second overall after three days of racing, with Team Pool Nurse’s Alta Kriegler and Sunette Beyers coming in third.

“The FNB W2W MTB Ride offers athletes of all abilities the chance to enjoy breath-taking scenery, challenging hills and amazing single track riding. FNB would like to congratulate all the participants, with special acknowledgement for the winners. We are eagerly awaiting the last event, the FNB W2W MTB Race,” said Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO FNB Business.

NEXT UP:  FNB Wines2Whales MTB Race

Starting in the Winelands of Somerset West, riders (teams of two) will cross through (and over) 13 wineries, 26 private farms, six mountains, historic roads and mountain passes, nature conservation areas (including the Kogelberg Biosphere) before finishing within sight of the famous whales of Hermanus!

Stage One:  Friday, 03 November 2017

Start Venue:  Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West)

Finish Venue:   Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)

Distance: 68km

Ascent: 1650m

Start Time:  07:00

Stage Two:  Saturday, 04 November 2017

Start Venue:  Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)

Finish Venue:   Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)

Distance: 71km

Ascent: 1350m

Start Time:  07:00

Stage Three:  Sunday, 05 November 2017

Start Venue:  Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw)

Finish Venue:   Onrus Caravan Park

Distance: 71km

Ascent: 1200m

Start Time:  07:00

PRIZE PURSE:  The 2017 FNB W2W MTB Race boasts an impressive Prize Purse of R417 000.  For a complete Prize Purse Breakdown CLICK HERE

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.

Facebook:  Wines2Whales

Twitter:  @w2wmtb

For more information on the FNB Wines2Whales MTB events contact Chris on 083 760 3158, e-mail race@wines2whales.co.za, adventure@wines2whales.co.za or ride@wines2whales.co.za or visit www.wines2whales.co.za 


Recently acquired by Cape Epic (PTY) Ltd, FNB Wines2Whales is a three-day mountain bike stage race held in the Western Cape, South Africa. Founded in 2009, the annual event hosts four thousand riders competing in two-person teams over 70-80km per day. The race format consists of three consecutive, separate, but identical events over ten days (named ‘Adventure’, ‘Ride’ and ‘Race’) – allowing riders to choose the appropriate option that suits their level of competitiveness. With entries selling out each year, FNB Wines2Whales is regarded as South Africa’s premier three-day mountain bike stage race.

ISSUED BY:                         Newsport Media

ON BEHALF OF:                 Wines2Whales

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