It’s pure coincidence that TREAD Media and the FNB Wines2Whales were both launched in 2009. In that time the Gauteng-based Team TREAD has ridden multiple editions of the FNB Wines2Whales. It’s one of those iconic South African events that’s developed its own character with each edition and it offers a number of compelling reasons to return. Here we unpack nine of those reasons.

Paid partnership with FNB Wines2Whales

 

It’s the most scenic stage race in South Africa

The Overberg region of the Western Cape is at its most beautiful in Spring. Winter rains leave the area lush and the fauna flourishing. Very few stage races offer ocean views, but the vistas of False Bay on Stage 1 and the South Atlantic on Stage 3 are simply incredible and especially impactful for riders from inland provinces. Almost everywhere you look at any time during the three stages you will see mountains. The Overberg mountains are truly majestic and offer an incredible backdrop most fitting for a mountain bike event.

Photo: FNB Wines2Whales/Nick Muzik

The trails are superb

We know that singletrack is where we get our kicks, but the singletrack on the FNB Wines2Whales race route is among the best you will find, especially as you reach Oak Valley at the end of Stage 1, the whole of Stage 2 and the start of stage 3. Then there’s the singletrack corridor of at the end of Stage 3 as you approach Hermanus that’s a real treat and an appropriate way to finish off three days of superb riding. Thanks to innovation by event co-founder and route director, Johan Kriegler and efforts by the Cape Trails team, no two years are the same when it comes to the route as more singletrack sections are added and existing bits refined to ensure the riding is always stimulating. Rider access to sections of the route is only given to FNB Wines2Whales participants, giving even local entrants something fresh to look forward to each year.

Photo: FNB Wines2Whales/Sam Clark

Everyone is a VIP

At the race village, FNB sets up the most impressive VIP area of any stage race. The best part is that everyone has access to it because everyone is a VIP. None of this restricted access stuff… There isn’t a post-race spot that can match the FNB Rider Lounge at FNB Wines2Whales with its flooring, heaters (it can get cold in Spring still), fans (it can also get hot in Spring), bean bags, blankets, bar counters and stools, wall plugs and free, consistent WiFi. Mountain biking is hard as it is, after the stage, off the bike shouldn’t have to be hard too…

Photo: FNB Wines2Whales/Nick Muzik

It’s the perfect selfish escape

Whether you’ve teamed up with a friend or sibling or are lucky enough to have a spouse that rides too, the FNB Wines2Whales experience is a wonderful way to get away from your daily grind and really focus on yourself or your relationship with your teammate. If you live outside the Western Cape, the trip to FNB Wines2Whales is a little like visiting another country! The province is so clean and well managed and a pleasure to visit – an adventure-seeker’s nirvana. If you spend most of your life working long hours, you owe yourself a short escape to relax, recharge and rediscover the freedom and joy of mountain biking. FNB Wine2Whales is just that.

Photo: FNB Wines2Whales/Sam Clark

It’s also a great family event

Most stage races take you away from your family. If you’re after some me-time, that’s cool, but if you’re wanting to share the experience, then FNB Wines2Whales is one of the few stage races that you can integrate into a family experience. There is easy access to the race village for pre- and post-stage support and there are designated spectator points on the route. And close to the race village is the popular Elgin Railway Market as well as a number of wine farms with accommodation that can ensure a memorable experience for riders and their families.

Photo: FNB Wines2Whales/Sam Clark

It’s a food and beverage feast!

Stage race food is generally made to fill, but at FNB Wines2Whales, it’s made to fulfil. Yes, you’re going to have ample food to offer pre-stage energy and post-stage replenishment, but the food quality and taste is superb as Woolworths is the food partner. Then, there’s a Chill Zone that reminds you of a beer tent from your student days but which is a lot more refined, where you can enjoy the craft beer and gin and local wines as you ease out of your race mode and into your relax mode…

Photo: FNB Wines2Whales/Sam Clark

The emphasis is on #SeriousGees

Gees is the Afrikaans term for Spirit or Vibe. Since its first edition in 2009, FNB Wines2Whales developed its own Vibe. Each person feels the vibe differently, but there’s definitely a common thread in that it’s a celebration of health, mobility, fitness, skill and sharing all of that with like-minded men and women from across South Africa for three days. It helps that the race village is at one location – Oak Valley – where the entire focus is on the riders and it quickly feels like a place of comfort, friendship and positive energy. Check out this short video on the FNB Wine2Whales Gees.

Photo: FNB Wines2Whales/Nick Muzik

A chance to win a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt

With Wahoo now an official partner of the Epic Series, of which the FNB Wines2Whales is part of, one lucky team will win a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt GPS device for both riders! The Elemnt Bolt, worth R6500, is a category leader with a wide range of features for training and racing performance monitoring. All you need to do is register and pay for your entry before the end of July! Good news: all fully paid entrants are also included in the competition!

The options

There are three editions of FNB Wines2Whales, all using the same route with the same high quality rider experience but each with its own special focus.

Chardonnay – 28-30 October 2022 (SOLD OUT)

The first of the three events gives the participants the first taste of any additions off the bike and on it. As is the case each year, there are new sections of route included in the 2022 edition, which adds even greater value to the on-the-bike experience. This event also focuses on the Women’s racing and attracts South Africa’s best racers and some of the best from other parts of the world too.

Pinotage – 31 October-2 November 2022

The mid-week event is the one that’s ideal for FNB Wines2Whales first-timers and international entrants. If you’re from outside the Western Cape, this is a good option as it allows you to spend some weekend time doing touristy stuff the weekend before or after. This event is where the eBike race division is contested.

Shiraz – 4-6 November 2022

The final event is focussed on the Men’s, Mixed and Exxaro racing categories delivering a more competitive vibe allround. The pace is obviously faster and the average body fat percentage a little lower, but this doesn’t detract from the festival atmosphere of the three days of mountain biking.

Photo: FNB Wines2Whales/Nick Muzik

Keen to get a feel for what to expect at FNB Wines2Whales 2022? Check out this short video from the 2021 Pinotage event.

To find out more or to secure your entry to the 2022 editions of the Pinotage or Shiraz head over here.

 

Paid partnership with FNB Wines2Whales

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