The much anticipated FNB Wines2Whales (W2W) Mountain Bike (MTB) Adventure, Ride and Race will start at the picturesque Lourensford Wine Estate on Friday, 31 October, 03 November and 07 November respectively.  With it the event brings a multitude of route upgrades, Paul Cluver’s Witklippieskloof being amongst these, another way in which event organizers guarantee riders a mountain biking experience like no other.

“One of the FNB W2W mottos is to create scenic contour trails, instead of trails that just go up and down,” says Johan Kriegler, FNB W2W MTB Director.  “This has proven to be quite a challenge as most of the route either crosses over or runs along mountains.  With the Cape Mountains being near the sea, we’re often faced with unique contour trail building challenges a result of fast flowing rivers with steep cliffs.  The best way to cross these cliffs, whilst staying on a contour, is to let the trail run towards the origin of the river, where the cliff is the steepest but also at its narrowest.  Here we’re presented with the perfect MTB bridge building opportunity.  Such bridges have become a trademark of the FNB W2W MTB Events.  The bridges at Paul Cluver Wine Estate have been elected as one of the 2014 Cape Town Design Capital projects.  Anton Potgieter, a well-known South African eco-bridge builder, was co-opted to assist with the building of the Pedal Power Association (PPA) swing, Raka and Slangpark.  Anton really showed his mettle when I asked him to re-build Pofadder, which is now safer and slightly easier to ride”.

“During Stage Two of the 2013 FNB W2W MTB Events riders crossed over from Oak Valley to Paul Cluver at the highest point of the stage,” continues Kriegler.  “Once at Paul Cluver riders had to cross Witklippieskloof, the steepest cliff on the farm, resulting in a very steep drop, followed by a very steep climb.  This year we made Witklippieskloof a contour trail priority.  After many scouting expeditions, Anton and the route building team set to work.  Two months later we now boast with what could arguably be one of the most scenic and safe MTB bridges in the country, the Witklippieskloof Bridge”.

Johan Kriegler, FNB W2W MTB Director, standing on the Witklippieskloof Bridge. Photo supplied
Johan Kriegler, FNB W2W MTB Director, standing on the Witklippieskloof Bridge. Photo supplied


According to Anton Potgieter it was pure perseverance and the visualization of the planned end result that allowed them to overcome the Witklippieskloof route building challenge.  “The sheer height and length of the bridge is what makes it unique,” says Potgieter.  “Shaped in a U to fit environmental restraints and challenges, the Witklippieskloof Bridge is approximately 50m in length and 7m in height at its highest point.  Essentially it is a wooden boardwalk that is raised on a wooden trellis.  For me the most enjoyable part of this project was being able to work in nature, while creating something that had to blend in with the environment and be a joy for both the public and cyclist to utilize.  Riders can look forward to a fast yet safe ride that is sure to excite the senses as they cross a clearly defined obstacle”.


Starting in the Winelands of Somerset West, riders will 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!

  • FNB WINES2WHALES MTB ADVENTURE:  31 October 2014 until 02 November 2014   
  • FNB WINES2WHALES MTB RIDE:  03 November 2014 until 05 November 2014 
  • FNB WINES2WHALES MTB RACE:  07 November 2014 until 09 November until 2014 


Distance:  76km

Start: Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West)

Finish:  Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin)


Distance:  68km

Start:  Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin)

Finish: Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin)


Distance:  77km

Start:  Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin)

Finish:  Onrus Caravan Park (just outside Hermanus)

Follow us on Twitter:  @w2wmtb

Like our Facebook page:  Wines2Whales


Source: Newsport Media

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