Sunday, 02 November 2014 saw FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Adventure riders bid farewell to Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw), their home for the past two days as they journeyed towards the finish line at Onrus Caravan Park (just outside Hermanus) where family and hopefully a few whales waited in anticipation to welcome them home.

Stage Three consisted of a 73km route that, once completed, took the total number of kilometers traveled off road over a three day period to 213km.  According to Johan Kriegler, FNB W2W MTB Director, the two most challenging sections on the Stage Three route are the Houwhoek Switchback Single Tracks and the infamous Hamilton Russel climb, which is the last major climb of the FNB W2W MTB Events, just after the third water-point.

Although the second team to cross the finish line on the day, Michael Creedon and Andrew Davies of Team Oakhaven-Granite secured the overall men’s category title completing the 2014 FNB W2W MTB Adventure in the fastest combined time of 10 hours 57 minutes 27 seconds.  According to Davies, they opted to be a little more tactical going into the stage.  “We had a big ride on Stage Two, so we expected today’s stage to be a bit more difficult.  The rugby players are strong and showed their wisdom and international sporting experience.  Although we spent most of our time on each other’s back wheels, we did manage to catch a glimpse of the scenery while watching the highlights videos each night in the rider tent.  The FNB Wines2Whales is a memorable experience”.  Joel Stransky and Jeremy Thomson of Team Rugby Celeb Team 2 came in second, while Anton Koller and Gregor Krall of Team Rehidrat Sport finished third.

Theresa Ralph and Michael Petersen of Team RBS secured a hat trick stage win, securing the overall title in a well-deserved time of 11 hours 57 minutes 03 seconds.  “Today’s stage was deceiving,” said Ralph.  “You think you’re going downhill, when you’re actually climbing and the climbs worked you.  Stage Three is definitely one of my best days.  I’m from Johannesburg, so coming up the hill and seeing the sea, it’s like a magnet for me.  The riders living in Cape Town are definitely spoilt with their riding conditions”.  Neill Ungerer and Thea-Mari Van Der Sandt of Team Scott 2 Lovit claimed the second spot on the podium while Coenie Thomas and Leorine De Wet of Team Operation Smile SA finished third.

Team Tailormade Properties’ Lolita Van Aardt and Nadia Visser were the women’s team to beat completing the three day’s riding in a combined time of 12 hours 33 minutes 08 seconds.  “Today was hot,” said Visser.    “The stage was tougher than expected, but we had fun.  I’d recommend the FNB Wines2Whales to other riders because of the atmosphere, the fantastic organization and the natural beauty”.  Kathy Crabbe and Wendy Potgieter of Team Specialized Songo came in second, while Desiree Strydom and Arlien Mattheus of Team Ongegund finished third.

NEXT UP:  FNB Wines2Whales MTB Ride   

Stage One / Monday, 03 November 2014

Start Venue:                   Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West)

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

Distance:                          72km

Start Time:                       07:00


Stage Two / Tuesday, 04 November 2014

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

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

Distance:                          67km

Start Time:                       07:00


Stage Three / Wednesday, 05 November 2014

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

Finish Venue:                 Onrus Caravan Park (just outside Hermanus)

Distance:                          74km

Start Time:                       07:00


Like our Facebook page:  Wines2Whales

Follow us on Twitter:  @w2wmtb

All 2014 FNB W2W MTB riders (Adventure, Ride and Race) stand the chance to win a magnificent Specialized mountain bike in the #MySpecializedDraw.  Valued at a whopping R50 000.00 per event, the #MySpecializedDraw includes a Body Geometry Fit Session.

“We are delighted to have kicked off the first phase of the race in such competitive spirit. The cyclists who took part in this stage have set a high benchmark for the next two races. We would like to congratulate all the participants, especially the winners who dug deeper and showed admirable resilience until the finish line. The Adventure has definitely lived up to its name and we are proud of everyone who took part over the three days,” said Mike Vacy-Lyle, CEO FNB Business.

About FNB Wines2Whales:

FNB Business and FNB Private Clients have made a joint commitment to sponsor the annual Wines2Whales Mountain Bike Events.

FNB’s ongoing strategy is to support local and community events that show the potential to grow. This sponsorship affirms our dedication to providing an experience that is beyond expectation, through a sport that continues to grow in popularity as one of the key activities in the South African sporting calendar.

The annual FNB Wines2Whales Mountain Bike Events are aligned to our belief that adventure is the heart of innovation and this is one of many platforms on which we seek to make a lasting connection with new and existing clients.


FNB Business- If your business is going far, we can help you get there.

Email: zak.sivalingum@fnb.co.za


FNB Private Clients – We help you grow, manage, protect and enjoy your wealth.

Email: nsolomon@fnbprivateclients.co.za


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


PHOTO CREDIT:                             Volume Photography

ISSUED BY:                                       Newsport Media

ON BEHALF OF:                              Wines2Whales Organisation


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