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A biker heading over a wooden bridge [FNB Wines2Whales]

Third Time Lucky for #RaceWithGrace with FNB Wines2Whales Competitions

By FNB Wines2Whales, 11/06/21, 10:00AM HST


Sune Henning and Lehane Oosthuizen have an interesting story of how they came to take part in the 2021 FNB Wines2Whales Chardonnay. Henning entered 3 competitions and transferred a traditional entry in order to race this November.

A biker heading over a wooden bridge

“It all began in 2016” Henning recalled. “Foodlovers’ were running a competition which rewarded the man and woman who clocked up the most milage in 3 weeks with an FNB Wines2Whales entry. Despite having a full-time job, I managed to average 5 hours and 100 kilometres a day for the 3 weeks. But I only rode off-road. Friends told me to ride my road bike, but I wasn’t interested. Ultimately though that cost me the entry as the woman who beat me did most of her riding on the road.”

Fast forward 3 and a bit years and she was in need of an event to look forward to. “Late in 2019 I broke my elbow and couldn’t ride my bike. I got a bit depressed as a result; so, a friend suggested we enter FNB Wines2Whales to keep me motivated” Henning recounted. “We entered in February 2020 and were really looking forward to the race. But then Covid happened and eventually the event had to be cancelled. We transferred our entry to 2021.”

“In the meantime, I took part in the Champions Chase competition and bought lottery tickets in support of the Paul Cluver Crèche” she said. “I didn’t think I’d win an entry. I was just thinking of the race beneficiaries who were struggling with the lockdowns and loss of income. Winning the entry was a great surprise.”

“The friend I’d originally entered with then wanted to get a refund for our original entry and so I was able to take up the entry I won and ride with Lehane [Oosthuizen].” “Sune was the first woman I saw riding down a rocky singletrack. She was my mountain biking mentor” Oosthuizen added. “Now she rides more than I do, as I have to balance riding with a full-time job” Henning laughed. “She races in the elite category normally, so I’ve been the nail this weekend. But I’ve loved the riding! The singletracks in particular have been incredible.”

“Especially being able to ride them without faster men catching us” Henning pointed out. “The AA women’s start group is incredible. It really makes the riding so much more enjoyable. We get the trails to ourselves and kind of just find our natural seeding within the women’s group. Being able to ride the trails without the pressure of faster riders coming from behind is incredible.”

“Yesterday we were with the elite women to the top of Rotary Drive” Oosthuizen smiled. “As we started to descend towards the Hemel en Aarde Valley the group, nearly as one, dropped their dropper seat post. That’s when you know the fun is about to start.”

The fun is not quite over for the #RaceWithGrace team. They and the rest of the FNB Wines2Whales Chardonnay field still have a final day on the Switchback trails. Taking riders from Oak Valley to Lourensford the last stage has a particularly spectacular end in store for the teams, the newly build Lourensford Ultimate singletrack descent.