DEFENDING CHAMPIONS READY FOR CONTEGO WINES2WHALES MTB RACE AND ADVENTURE

The Contego Wines2Whales MTB Race powered by Maserati celebrates its fourth anniversary in November. Taking place the weekend of 09 – 11 November 2012, teams of two riders (male/female/mixed) will be seen crossing 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! The distance covered will vary from 70km to 80km each day.

The Contego Wines2Whales MTB Race powered by Maserati celebrates its fourth anniversary in November. Taking place the weekend of 09 – 11 November 2012, teams of two riders (male/female/mixed) will be seen crossing 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! The distance covered will vary from 70km to 80km each day.

Dominic Calitz and Matthys Beukes rode to victory in the men’s team category of the 2011 Contego Wines2Whales MTB Race. For Calitz the most enjoyable part of the Race was the single-track. “Mountain bikers who enjoy riding single track should definitely enter this race. Stage one and two had the best single track that I’ve ever experienced. I still hear riders talking about the great trails. The vibe in the race village was also in true mountain biking spirit,” says Calitz who will be seen teaming up with Craig Boyes at the 2012 Contego W2W MTB Race.

Ischen Stopforth and Catherine Williamson took gold in the women’s race. According to Stopforth the routes were beautiful with a good diversity. “The single track was really good, ride-able but still technical enough to make it fun and challenging. The scenery was beautiful and there was quite a bit of tough climbing to do. The vibe at the finish was really great. At the end of each stage we could enjoy the race village and just relax with other riders. My advice is to ride within yourself, enjoy the scenery and area in which we are riding. Have fun and don’t be overly competitive if you’re not racing for podium,” says Stopforth.

Yolande De Villiers and Johan Labuschagne are the mixed team to look out for at this year’s Contego Wines2Whales MTB Race. They’ll be aiming for their third consecutive victory. “The route with all its flowing single track is a winner,” says De Villiers. “Wines2Whales is usually our last race of the season, so we enjoy every second of it and do try to take it easy. The atmosphere at the race village is relaxed and the organizers clearly go to great lengths to ensure a race that is as enjoyable as possible for all riders. It truly is a wonderful privilege to be able to mountain bike in such magnificent areas. Enjoy every moment of the experience”.

The Contego Wines2Whales MTB Adventure powered by Maserati celebrates its second anniversary this year and will take place from 02 – 04 November 2012 (the weekend before the Contego Wines2Whales MTB Race). Amoryn Saayman and Adele Ambrose were the first women’s team to be crowned champions at this exciting event. According to Saayman, the Contego Wines2Whales Adventure was the best back-to-back mountain biking that they’ve ever done. “The scenery, friendly support crew and endless fun and challenging trails reminded us why we started mountain biking. The route meandered through some of the most rugged and scenic regions of the Western Cape. It was like a playground out there with lots of fast and flowing single track, nice open Jeep track and some lung busting climbs…all very rewarding,” says Saayman.

Ronel van Wyk and Ben Cronje took gold in the mixed team category. “The event was absolutely magnificent,” says Van Wyk. “Last year Oom Ben’s original partner withdrew due to work commitments. I was very lucky to be asked to take his place. I have, however, always wanted to race Wines2Whales. That is why my fiancé and I have decided to take part in the Contego Wines2Whales Race this year. We are really looking forward to it,” says Van Wyk.

Eben Espach and Bruce Poole where the victors in the men’s team category of the Contego Wines2Whales MTB Adventure. “We were fit and wanted to be competitive,” says Espach. “The route was great. The best way to cope with a three-day mountain bike race is to do the km’s beforehand and make sure that your bike is mechanically sound. To ensure that you get the most out of the three days remember to relax and enjoy the scenery”. Unfortunately Espach and Poole won’t be able to participate this year due to work commitments, but the duo will definitely be toeing the line in 2013.

Event Information:

· CONTEGO WINES2WHALES MTB ADVENTURE: Friday, 02 November 2012 until Sunday, 04 November 2012

· CONTEGO WINES2WHALES MTB RACE: Friday, 09 November 2012 until Sunday, 11 November 2012

Distance Covered: between 70km – 80km per day


STAGE ONE:

Start Lourensford Wine Estate (Somerset West)

Finish Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin)

STAGE TWO:

Start Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin)

Finish Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin)

STAGE THREE:

Start Oak Valley Sport Field (Elgin)

Finish Onrus Caravan Park (just outside Hermanus)