FNB Wines2Whales

10384115_10152750204030813_7954122350251570687_n

Image credit: Hendrik Steytler

 

It has been a little over a week since my 2014 season ended at the FNB Wines2Whales and I am pleased with how it went. It’s always great to finish the year on a high. The motivation from the result carries you well through the base phase of training into the races for next year.

 

This would be my second Wines2Whales and I was looking forward to the iconic event. With the Cape Pioneer just a couple of weeks before hand, there were just a couple of hard sessions to put the ‘icing on the cake’ so to speak and then it was go time.

 

1908452_10152750203540813_677609560324212762_n

Joburg boys building bikes.

Image credit: Hendrik Steytler

IMG_3287

Altech Autopage/ASS MAGIC Team Car.

Image credit: Ash Smit

10805716_993278007354826_8688841508446865834_n

Single track through the Lourensford Valley on stage 1.

Image credit: Cherie Vale 

 

The talking point of the first day is really the portage up the Gamtou pass, a tough section of the race that can make or break your day. Hanco and I came through it ok, in 5th place just off the RSA Web/Dorma pairing. The work wasn’t all done yet and there were a good couple of tough climbs in the Grabouw valley to still contend with before the line. We finished the first day in 5th place just seconds off RSA Web/Dorma with the Paarl Media boys just seconds off us in 6th.

 

The second stage of the W2W is the ‘play’ stage. With not much climbing and many kilometres of single track it is the reason many come down to the Cape to do the race. With the pace on early the race split up. I felt horrible on the first few climbs; my patient partner was ready to go as soon as I was.

 

 

10351078_993918690624091_5764457264201582606_nHanco enjoying the wooden bridges.

Image credit: Cherie Vale

watermarkOak Valley Race Village.

Image credit: Cherie Vale

 

10469724_993279414021352_1476862163111769207_n

Tough stage?

Image credit: Cherie Vale

1509707_993925173956776_8729636025061614832_n

Stage 2 podium with a couple of hot shot Euro’s. Casual.

Image credit: Cherie Vale

Fortunately the lights came on and with a steady pace we clawed our way back from 6th place to eventually catch the 3rd and 4th place teams of EAI Cycling and RSA Web/Dorma with 10km to go. I was feeling good and the prospect of racing for the final step on the podium excited me. The ginger ninja and I opened up the taps with 5km and rode away from our group up one of the last drags in the stage. We would have to keep the gas on as the technically apt pairs raced to catch us on the single track to the line. We had done enough though and secured our spot on the podium, it was a great result for us and one I truly felt satisfied with. We also moved into 4th on GC with a stage to go.

 

The final stage of the Wines2Whales and my last racing day for the 2014 season would see a 71km stage from Oak Valley to Onrus. The fast start meant that the group remained largely intact until Sauser and Looser along with the Kargo boys rode away. In the second group we had as many as 5 -6 teams at one point. Eventually EAI put the pressure on and take 3rd on the stage. Hanco and I were 5th in a sprint for the line with 4 other teams, more importantly we had finished in the same time as the Groustra and Pfitzenmaier to hang onto our 4th place in the GC.

 

IMG_3351

On the go.

Image credit: Ash Smit


IMG_3368

Finish in Onrus with our super soigneur!

Image credit: Colleen Smit

10435905_994536127229014_3265535133815934042_n

Final GC, 4th.

Image credit: Cherie Vale

10301455_994536147229012_5540405023926258290_n

Lots of photos and stuff.

Image credit: Cherie Vale

 

Boyd and Thinus from Altech Autopage were also down for the weekend. With their own personal battles to see who could hurt each other the most, as well as purchasing some of the Cape’s prime real estate, they also had a great weekend on the bike. We capped it off with a braai and a spot of wine on Sunday evening in Onrus.

IMG-20141107-WA0006

Tough day on the bike? Better than any day in the office?

Image credit: Hanco Kachelhoffer.

16116_10152750203780813_1315252535839430497_n

Fine Stellenbosch restaurants, Basic Bistro.

Image credit: Hendrik Steytler

IMG-20141109-WA0052

Opening up our ‘spot of wine’.

Image credit: Ash Smit

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s