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25 OCT - 3 NOV 2019

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To Beat the Heat the Chardonnay Stages will Start an Hour Earlier

25 October 18

With the mercury predicted to soar into the upper thirties over the weekend the FNB Wines2Whales Race Director, Hendrico Burger, has made the call to move the start times of the Chardonnay race forward by an hour. Rider safety is of paramount importance to the event and with that in mind the elite women will now get each stage underway at 6am.

“We have been watching the long-term forecast closely as the 2018 FNB Wines2Whales approaches” Burger reflected. “When it became clear that the temperatures were likely to be dangerously hot, and with only very slight cooling winds predicted, we made the decision to bring forward the start times. The aim is to get all riders over the Gantouw Pass before the hottest part of the day on Friday” the Race Director explained.

The elite women will kick-off each stage at the FNB W2W Chardonnay, but rather than starting at 7am as originally scheduled, they will now start at 6am sharp. The other starting batches will be brought forward by an hour.

FNB Wines2Whales Chardonnay Start Times

Elite / A 06:00
B 06:10
C 06:20
D 06:30
E 06:40
F 06:50
G 07:00
H 07:10
I 07:20
J 07:30
K 07:40


Starting earlier also means finishing earlier which will have very real benefits for recovery ahead of the following stage. It will additionally create more time in the afternoon to enjoy the hospitality of the Oak Valley race village. Riders will thus have an hour more to unwind in the FNB Rider Lounge, relax over lunch in the Food Lover’s Market Dining Marquee and cool off with an ice cold Cape Brewing Co beer or a glass of crisp Oak Valley white wine.

To accommodate the earlier start breakfast will now open at 5am during the Chardonnay race. Riders will be able to fuel up for the day ahead on the trails at both Lourensford, ahead of Stage 1, and at Oak Valley, before Stages 2 and 3. The complimentary breakfast is provided by Food Lover’s Market, Bokomo/Pronutro and Seattle Coffee Co.

On Stage 2 we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the FNB Wines2Whales. The race is celebrating #10yearsofgees and to get in on the action riders are encouraged to dress up in fancy dress for Stage 2 on each of the three events (Chardonnay, Pinotage and Shiraz).

The start times for the FNB Wines2Whales Pinotage and Shiraz events, which start on Monday the 29thand Friday the 2ndrespectively, remain unchanged. Though entrants to the mid-week race are warned that the weather looks likely to swing from heat wave to rain for Tuesday and Wednesday, so please pack accordingly.

To keep up-to-date on the changeable Cape weather predictions please click here, or follow FNB Wines2Whales’ social media handles.



Race Office:
+27 21 422 0331