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25 OCT - 3 NOV 2019

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10 out of 10 for select group

27 October 18

Its the 10th anniversary of the FNB Wines2Whales and a select group of 19 riders are this year riding it for the 10th time.

Seven of them are taking part in the opening Chardonnay event and finished todays Stage 2 – an out-and-back stage from the Oak Valley race village which includes many of the legendary trails of the Elgin/Grabouw area.


It was super hot, but that didnt appear to wilt the enthusiasm of the 10-year riders.


Its a lekker event. Today was just splendid, even with the heat,said one of them, Philip Lambrecht. Its got a nice ending too. I hate it when they make you finish on a downhill and here its a lekker fast downhill.He added: FNB has also been a good sponsor. Theyve activated their sponsorship very well.


Today was good pretty hot but its been a fantastic day,said Graham Meyer. He said the FNB Wines2Whales goes up to a new level every year.


Theres an amazing vibe and its a nice way to escape from the day-to-day stresses. Theres lots of camaraderie out there. Friendships and bonds are made here,said Meyer.


The event had grown from strength to strength it gets better every year, said Dominic Paine. Thinking back on the first event, he remembered the ride up the tar on Sir Lowrys Pass, but mostly the fact that it rained properly. Botrivier on Stage 3 was so full of water that part of the riderslegs were submerged.I grew up in Elgin and I love to come back. Its a long weekend in special countryside,said Paine. Logistically, for a Capetonian, its peachy too.


Its grown over 10 years into the best organised race in the country,said Hanlie Booyens after crossing the line.She kept coming back because its like a family I dont really race anymore so for me it is a chance for everybody to reconnect. Its very much a community.


Richard Newton fell under the FNB Wines2Whales spell back in 2009: From the first one I just loved the concept of coming through the mountains.

I think its amazing how its changed over the years.The race village is such a pleasure and creates a happy space. He added that the food supplied by Food Lovers Market is just amazing.

The course had more and more singletrack every yearand its designers have listened to the riders and taken out the really harsh hillsfrom the early years. 

Another plus was that training for the event also gets you out of bed in the winter.


Detlef Meinert said he kept coming back basically because its such a beautiful event and the riding is fantastic every year is better than the last, an improvement from the year before

He added: Today was the best singletrack in the past 10 years,

He said the event had got massiveover the years but it was well-managed and the cycling experience improved every year. 


Asked if they would be back next year, both Lambrecht and Meyer responded identically: Ask me tomorrow.Paine said: I am sure I will. Quite a few of our group of friends who will be on their 10th ride next year, so many of us will be back.Newton will be there too: Ive got to keep doing it.And Meinert will be back next year.

The seven 10-year riders taking part in the FNB Wines2Whales Chardonnay event are Hanlie Booyens, Richard Newton, Graham Meyer, Andrew Bradley, Philip Lambrecht, Detlef Meinert and Dominic Paine. 



Race Office:
+27 21 422 0331