South Africa’s best loved mountain bike stage race is back to full capacity in 2022 and returning from the Switchback to the traditional route. So, if you’re looking for reasons to sign up for some SERIOUS gees look no further.
- The Route is King
After the Switchback route of 2021, FNB Wines2Whales returns to its traditional Lourensford to Onrus route in 2022. But its not simply a return to the 2019 route. Cape Trails as well as the Lourensford and Hermanus Trail builders have been busy sculpting new singletracks day in and day out. With the winter trail building season ahead Johan Kriegler has been out scouting and laying down markers for the teams to get stuck into once the soil softens up thanks to the increase in rainfall. Stay tuned to our social media handles for updates on the various builds planned but you can expect even more singletrack, refinements to the existing trails, and the best three days of riding the Helderberg-, Elgin- and Hemel en Aarde- Valleys have to offer.
- Chill in Style
As anyone who has ridden FNB W2W before can attest after Stages 1 and 2 the Oak Valley race village is all about the chill. Relax in style in the FNB Rider Lounge – where even those who can’t quite unwind completely, because they have work to do – can find a spot to put their feet up. If making your friends back home jealous is the aim of the game (or if you have to check in on emails), NTT has WiFi sorted. Alongside the FNB Rider Lounge, the Chill Zone, with its bar and TV screens, is the perfect place to eat lunch or spend a lazy evening sharing war stories from the trails.
- Wine and Dine
Speaking of bars and lunch… FNB W2W is famous for its food. Woolworths caters in ample quantities with fresh vegies and salads in abundance to supplement the meats, cheeses and vegan protein options. Once refuelled riders can, and most do, make their way to the Tipsy Gipsy Bar or to Oak Valley’s Wine Bar to further the relaxation process with the aid of a bottle of the hosts’ Sounds of Silence Pinot Noir or a beer from Devil’s Peak.
- It’s for the Kids
The charitable aspects of FNB W2W make the race about more than just riding bikes and having a good time. Along with the FNB Wines2Whales Botriver Crèche Initiative, the event supports the Botriver Educational Foundation, the De Rust Futura School, the Anna Foundation and the Pebbles Project. Other beneficiaries also include the Timothy Harlow Foundation and the Cape Leopard Trust, who also have educational elements to their programmes. So, while you’re having fun on the trails, the kids are winning. And while you’re digging deep up a climb think of the gift of education your perspiration is providing.
- The Gees of a MTB Reunion
Since March 2020 the world, it’s safe to say, has been a strange place. Bike races were cancelled or postponed. And everyone missed their MTB communities. Those people you only ever see at races, but who make races all the richer for their presence. With a return to full capacity the 2022 FNB W2W events are going to be a full-on mountain biking reunion. A place to catch up with old friends, from the trails, and share stories from years gone by, as well as the day before. It’s going to be a festival of gees. Don’t miss it.
Essential Info for Would-Be FNB W2W Riders to Know:
Chardonnay: 28 – 30 October
Pinotage: 31 October – 2 November
Shiraz: 4 – 6 November
Climbing: ±4 500m
Entry Fees: R16 500 (Standard Entry: including 1 x 2-person tent per rider)
Upgrades: R22 700 (Double Luxury Tents: 1 x Luxury Canvas Tent per team) or
R23 950 (Single Luxury Tents: 1 x Luxury Canvas Tent per rider)
Standard Pricing valid until 30 June 2022, thereafter late entry fees apply until 7 October.