Being one of the biggest 3 day mountain bike stage races in South Africa, the FNB Wines2Whales needs no introduction. Commencing in 2009 the event has grown massively and currently hosts a limited field of around 4,500 participants over the Trail, the Adventure and the Race editions of the event.
The event kicks off at the elegant Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West and finishes in Onrus on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean 3 days later. In between the event stops over at Oak Valley in Grabouw for two nights and here riders get treated to scenic, fun trail riding whilst traversing the beautiful Elgin Valley.
My Mauritian friend Aurelie Lincoln invited me to join her on her inaugural Wines2Whales experience and who can say no to sharing fun trails in a beautiful part of the country alongside good company.
Aurelie has been battling with her health since the Cape Pioneer Trek and my training has been haphazard due to the passing of a close family member. Knowing we showed up with less than ideal form we decided to just make the best of the situation we were in.
We raced as hard as we could trying to enjoy every moment to the full. Finally we finished in 7th place overall, but more importantly – we made some good memories along the way.
With the race season winding down, we leave tomorrow for our customary season ending race at the Southern Tropical Challenge where Ben Melt Swanepoel and I will be attempting to defend our title in the mixed category as Team Garmin.