There will be more wine and perhaps more whales in the FNB Wines2Whales in 2018 as the race prepares to celebrate its 10th birthday by taking one of South Africa’s most popular mountain bike events to new levels.
The wine will come in the form of new names for the three races that make up the FNB Wines2Whales, while the finish line will return to Hermanus, the best whale-watching spot in the beautiful Western Cape. The FNB Wines2Whales, which has become part of the Grandstand Management stable that puts on the iconic Cape Epic stage race, will build on the high standards it has become known for as it moves into its second decade.
“The new FNB Wines2Whales team is now even more focussed, creative and excited to ensure that this year’s 10th anniversary during late October and early November will exceed expectations,” said Race Founder Johan Kriegler.
“We are refining and innovating, and at the same time retaining all the character and tradition that has made the race one of the most popular multi-stage events in South Africa. Our growth since our first race in 2009 has been testament to the dedication of our staff, suppliers, sponsors and land owners to put on a mountain bike race that is challenging and incredibly enjoyable.”
The three races have been renamed after wines produced in the area.
- The first race (26 – 28 October 2018) is the FNB Wines2Whales Chardonnay,
- The second race (29 – 31 October 2018) is the FNB Wines2Whales Pinotage.
- The third race (2 – 4 November 2018) is the FNB Wines2Whales Shiraz.
There is also the Jeroboam, a new experience where the same team can compete in all three events! There are a limited number of entries that will be available for this challenge and riders need to register separately.
“We believe that the FNB Wines2Whales is held in the best location in South Africa, and want to celebrate the wonderful wines that make up our name,” said Kriegler. “The Chardonnay is golden and velvety, like our singletrack, the Pinotage, being so uniquely South African, and the Shiraz is dark and full-bodied, and has hints of sweet and savoury, and the perfect way to end a wonderful week of riding.”
There will be something new and something old for the 10th birthday. The start will once again be at the Lourensford Wine Estate in Somerset West, with the race village at the Oak Valley estate, but the finish, always spectacular, will have something a little more special in 2018, which is still to be revealed. Each stage will remain around 60-80km in length.
To ensure you are part of the 10th birthday celebrations, in October and November, get in early. Preferential entries for 2017 participants and those on the waiting lists open at 08h00 on Wednesday, Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2018. This window will only remain open for 48 hours. Public entries open on Friday, 16 February 2018 at 08h00. Entries are limited to 675 teams per race. Prices per team are R12 800 (no accommodation), R14 500 (standard tented accommodation) and R20 000 (luxury tented accommodation).