Groustra, Pfitzenmaier crowned FNB W2W MTB race champs


Words: Newsport Media | Photo: Cherie Vale

Renay Groustra and Nico Pfitzenmaier of Team RSA Web/Bridge claimed the coveted title of 2013 FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Race champions on Sunday, 10 November 2013 after completing all three stages of this much loved event in a combined time of 08hours53minutes18seconds.

According to Groustra, they felt a bit of pressure from Team Cannondale Blend on Stage Three. “Although my legs felt good today, I suffered a little towards the end. Darren Lill and Andrew Hill from Team Cannondale Blend put us under pressure. We put in a real effort to catch them, but just couldn’t close the gap. Winning my second FNB W2W MTB Race is a fantastic feeling. Nico and I worked really well together as a team. It’s great to be able to finish the season on a high,” says Groustra.

“FNB W2W it such a beautiful race,” said Pfitzenmaier. “Renay is by far the best partner that I’ve ever ridden with. We understand each other and the support was great. We had a chain issue today and although we chased hard we couldn’t catch Darren and Andrew, so we decided to ride smart. I’ll ride with Renay any time again. The FNB W2W MTB Race is the most fun mountain bike event”.

“I can see why mountain biking stage races are becoming so popular,” said Andrew Hill of Team Cannondale Blend, the first men’s team to cross the finish line on Stage Three. “We truly are spoiled and privileged to be able to ride”.

Darren Lill and Andrew Hill of Team Cannondale Blend secured the second spot on the podium after three days of magnificent racing, while Hanco Kachelhoffer and Johann Rabie of Team EAI Reeds Nuwater placed third.

Yolande Speedy and Paul Cordes of Team asg MTB Academy claimed their hat-trick stage victory and overall event victory in the mixed team category of the FNB W2W MTB Race completing all three stages in a combined time of 10hours22minutes23seconds. “We had a good day,” said Speedy. “Starting at the back of the group we had to work our way through the field. I preferred today’s route, the elevation and climbing. I was blown away by this event in 2012 when Hanlie Booyens and I won the women’s team category. As defending champions we were given complementary entries into this year’s event. This is a fantastic initiative and we really appreciate it. I’ll definitely be back next year”. Tandi Kitching and Niel Du Pisani of Team BroSis came in second, while Sunet Geldenhuys and Vaughn Roux of Team The Surgical Institute placed third.

Yolande De Villiers and Jennie Stenerhage of Team ISUZU 1 also claimed their hat-trick stage win and overall event win this time in the women’s team category of the FNB W2W MTB Race completing all three stages in a combined time of 10hours32minutes24seconds. “Today was fantastic,” said a delighted De Villiers. “They should make a compulsory stop for us to check out the view. It feels awesome winning all three stages of the FNB W2W MTB Race. We felt no pressure with regard to racing today, but you never know what will happen to your bicycle on the day. It’s so nice to end the year on a high. It really is good for one’s self confidence”.

Ashleigh Moffatt and Candice Neethling of Team BMC Velolife came in second, while Hanlie Booyens and Sharon Laws of Team Food Lover’s Market 5 placed third.

The FNB W2W MTB Race started at Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West) on Friday, 08 November 2013. The mountain bike community was out in full force, with 1300 riders toeing the line to partake in this much anticipated mountain biking event. Teams of two riders (male/female/mixed) had three days to 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!

Event summary

STAGE ONE: Friday, 08 November 2013
Distance: 76km / 1700m elevation gain
Start: Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West)
Finish: Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin)

STAGE TWO: Saturday, 09 November 2013
Distance: 68km / 1350 elevation gain
Start: Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin)
Finish: Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin)

STAGE THREE: Sunday, 10 November 2013
Distance: 77km / 1450 elevation gain
Start: Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin)
Finish: Onrus Caravan Park (just outside Hermanus)

The Official Food Supplier of the FNB W2W MTB events, Food Lover’s Market is known for placing great emphasis on value, quality and an exceptional retail experience. At the FNB W2W MTB events Food Lover’s Market met all the essential food requirements of the riders over the three day period both on route and in the race village.

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“Our first sponsorship of the FNB Wines2Whales Mountain Bike Events has been extremely remarkable. This race is already a key event in the national sporting calendar and we believe that it will continue to grow in popularity to be one of the most anticipated mountain biking events globally,” said Stephan Claassen, FNB Provincial Head, Western Cape.

“In addition to the spirited performances shown by all the riders over the ten days, this year’s race wouldn’t have been complete without the unpredictable nature of the famous Western Cape weather which gave participants a feel of all seasons in just ten days. Congratulations to all the cyclists who took part in the race and we would like to extend a special compliment to all the winners who managed to beat the odds to claim top honours,” adds Claassen.