The Faces Rola team extended their general classification lead with their second stage win of the 2021 FNB Wines2Whales Chardonnay Race. Stage 2 saw a repeat of the opening day’s Elite women’s podium, with Fairtree and Galileo Infiniti SPOT joining Mariske Strauss and Candice Lill on the podium.
Stage 2 of the FNB Wines2Whales Switchback Chardonnay race took on the trails of Oak Valley, Paul Cluver and Thandi during the event’s ‘Play Day’. Saturday, 6 November, dawned with perfect weather and as the day warmed, the women’s racing heated up too. Having cranked up the temperature on the climb to Poffadder it was Mariske Strauss and Candice Lill who once again raced to stage honours.
“We raced the first 35 or 40 kilometres together” Lill explained. “Then Mariske [Strauss] and I put in an attack on a climb towards a section of singletrack. This stage is really easy to underestimate, because it’s called ‘Play Day’ but it’s constantly up and down. That said, none of the climbs or singletracks are really that long, so it’s difficult to make a decisive gap. When we attacked, I think it split up behind us too and from then on we just pushed on to extend our overall lead.”
“The FNB Wines2Whales and Woolworths have done such a great thing with the women’s race” Lill’s Faces Rola partner added. “To have our own event and to be able to race entirely unhindered is amazing.”
“We worked really hard today to build a bit of a buffer to Galileo Infiniti SPOT today” Amy McDougall of Fairtree said, after finishing second on the stage. “Jen [Stenerhag] and I are a bit quicker than them in the singletracks and we used that to add to the single second advantage we had from yesterday. I am a bit worried about the Gantouw Pass descent tomorrow though, if I’m honest. I’m a bit of a klutz off the bike, at the best of times. So, racing a former Olympic triathlete, like Mari [Rabie] down the portage is going to be tough.”
After two days of racing Faces Rola lead Faitree by 5 minutes and 36 seconds. Galileo Infiniti SPOT’s Rabie and Kim le Court are a further 1 minute and 27 seconds back. The Veterans and Sub-Veterans women leaders remain unchanged from Stage 1. Woolworths Pretty Pedal’s Nicola Walker and Kate Slegrova extended their Sub-Veteran category advantage, as did the Tiletoria Ladies, Fienie Barnard and Hanlie Booyens.
Stage 3, of the FNB Wines2Whales Switchback Chardonnay takes the teams from Oak Valley to the final finish line on the fields of Lourensford Wine Estate. The 62 kilometre long stage takes in 1 350 metres of climbing and along with the Gantouw Pass portage descent it also features a brand new singletrack within the final 10 kilometres. Dubbed the Lourensford Ultimate it will provide a fitting finale to the three days of racing and ensure an exciting finale for age groupers and elite riders alike. The racing starts at 07:00 and can be followed on www.wines2whales.com; or on the event’s social media handles @wines_2_whales, on Instagram, and @w2wmtb, on Twitter.
FNB Wines2Whales Chardonnay:
Stage 2 | Elite Women:
General Classification | Elite Women:
Stage 2 | Sub-Veteran Women:
General Classification | Sub-Veteran Women:
Stage 2 | Veteran Women:
General Classification | Veteran Women: