Cape Town - Matthys Beukes and Philip Buys claimed their second stage victory and the overall Champions Title after Stage 3 of the Wines2Whales (W2W) MTB race at Onrus Caravan Park on Sunday.
“It’s not often that things work out according to plan,” says Beukes.
“Going into the stage, we knew that we would have to do something at the 40km mark. We sat on the wheels a bit up the drag, and then increased our pace. It’s been a great year. We couldn’t be happier about our win.”
“This is my first W2W win,” said Buys.
“Everything worked out well over the three days. W2W is a great race to end the season off with.”
Beukes and Buys completed Stage 3 in an impressive time of 2 hours 30 minutes 8 seconds. They claimed the overall victory (after three days of racing) in a combined time of 7 hours 59 minutes 48 seconds over the total 210km distance.
Konny Looser and Christoph Sauser claimed the second spot on the podium, while Gawie Combrinck and Nico Bell finished third.
“I expected this to be the result,” admitted Sauser.
“I had to dig deep the first two days, and just didn’t have the base. The best team definitely won. They deserve it.”
“I enjoyed the weekend’s racing,” said Looser.
“There was a big fight on route today. It’s been super exciting. It’s always nice riding with Christoph. Team PYGA were clever in their riding strategy. They definitely deserve the win. W2W has been great. The route was awesome.”
“It’s always nice fishing at the sea,” said Bell.
“W2W is a really enjoyable race. Now we plan to reset and hopefully have a good year in 2018.”
In the women’s race Stage 3 was claimed by Candice Lill and Vera Adrian.
Jennie Stenerhag and Adelheid Morath pipped Samantha Sanders and Amy Mcdougall to the finish claiming the second and third spots on the podium, respectively, for the stage.
Stenerhag and Morath's efforts over the three days however secured them the coveted title of 2017 W2W MTB Champions in the women’s race.
Stenerhag and Morath completed three days of racing in a combined time of 9 hours 15 minutes 52 seconds.
“It feels great to end the year off with a win,” says Stenerhag.
“Although we had a good lead going into Stage 3, we knew that with mountain biking anything can happen. We did what we could today, but I didn’t have anything left on the climbs. I’ve taken part in W2W six times. I love the trails. This is definitely the best event that I’ve ever taken part in. The prize money has also done a lot for women’s racing. W2W is an awesome way to end the season.”
“W2W is a great event,” says Morath.
“I really enjoyed it and am happy to be here.”
Lill and Adrian claimed second place, with Sanders and Mcdougall rounding off the podium after three days of racing.
“We had a really good start,” says Lill.
“We knew that it was important to get to the front to reach the single track first. Once in the single track we pushed the pace. We had a positive race and are happy with today. It was a fantastic way to close off our partnership.”
“We worked on our master plan last night,” laughed Adrian.
“It worked perfectly today. We stayed in front. I was able to ride my pace and we gave it our all on the climbs. W2W is a partner race. We definitely rode as a team.”
“Our plan was to do our best,” said Sanders.
“You can only go as hard as the body allows. Our effort was good enough for third place. The event has been awesome. W2W really is incredible. The trails are immaculate.”
“I need to work on my sprinting skill,” laughed Mcdougall.
“There was a lot of pain, but W2W was a lot of fun.”
It was a hat-trick stage victory for husband and wife duo Martin and Jeannie Dreyer. They firmly secured the title of Mixed Team Champions in a combined time of 9 hours 57 minutes 21 seconds.
“I’m chuffed that we were able to claim three stage victories,” said Jeannie.
“We definitely don’t train the intensity for this type of race. I guess it just shows that our heads are in it. W2W is a magic, gem of an event. It’s slick, neat and clean. There’s no suffering or discomfort. It’s a real treat.”
Ila and Darryn Stow claimed the second spot on the podium after three days of racing, while Ian Martin and Louise Ferreira finished third.
The second and last destination stage of the W2W MTB race, Stage 3 started at the Oak Valley Wine Estate (Elgin-Grabouw) and finished at the Onrus Caravan Park. The route boasted with 71km of spectacular-mountain biking and featured a 1 200m ascent. Iconic sections on route included passing the Houw Hoek Inn, the oldest hotel in South Africa, meandering through the quaint town of Botriver past the Botriver School, experiencing the magnificent Wildekrans and Hermanus Trails, Gaf-se-Bos, the Fruitways-Onrus Beach Crossing and the PERI-Onrus river crossing to name just a few.