200km | 4500m Climbing
Its biggest drawcard is undoubtedly the route, which has been perfected over the past 12 years. In 2022, the race will follow the traditional route that takes riders from wines of Lourensford to the whales of Onrus. But teams can expect many new and exciting changes to the route that hasn’t been ridden since 2019!
The 2022 FNB Wines2Whales will deliver a mountain bike experience unlike any other in South Africa as it takes in a mix of terrain including private farm roads, majestic mountain singletracks and a historic wagon path.
Lourensford Wine Estate to Oak Valley Estate
The opening stage of the FNB Wines2Whales begins at the famed Lourensford Wine Estate and the climbing begins almost immediately up to the saddle. The views of Stellenbosch and Cape Town from the top are spectacular! From the top, a steep downhill follows - beware of tight, blind turns! Next up is the Vergelegen climb; it may be the toughest climb of the entire race, but your legs will still be fresh so it won't be too much of an issue and the reward is easy and enjoyable passage through to Idiom. Next up in the day's demands is the portage up Gantouw Pass - an old Wagon trail where you'll see the scars from ancient ox wagons being dragged up and over the pass. Once you've hotfooted it over the compulsory hike-a-bike, the reward is the trail network of Grabouw Country Club. The final kilometres of the race make their way towards Oak Valley's singletracks and open vineyard roads; once in the Estate, you'll hear the finish line beckoning where an ice-cold Devil's Peak awaits.
Oak Valley Estate
Stage 2 is Play Day at the FNB Wines2Whales and that means one thing: TRAILS! Think sublime singletrack, manicured berms, mind-blowing descents and a jump or two to earn some style points that'll be redeemed if you make it into the day's video edit.
From the gun, there's a sharp climb strategically placed to spread the field for the singletracks that follow (we know it's cruel, but you'll thank us when you get a clear run through the trails). The first 25 kilometres are fast, flowing, and fun with regular ups and downs taking in many of Oak Valley and Paul Cluver's famed trails. It's a day for trail lovers and is sure to generate many war stories that'll be shared in the FNB Rider Lounge in the evening.
Oak Valley Estate to Curro School, Hermanus
The final stage of the FNB Wines2Whales is a challenging affair that brings the #SeriousGEES to a close.
Leaving Oak Valley via a few of the trails, the speed tends to pick up, but don't get sucked in too early as the final 30 kilometres are where you'll really need those matches. The trickiest section of the day is the Kat Pas descent just after Houw Hoek's trails - caution is advised as it's fast and loose, and particularly rutted. Once safely down, the route heads towards Wildekrans' trails. Once the weaving trails have been navigated, it's towards the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Here you'll confront as many climbs as you will descents before pinning your ears back and racing to the final finish line at Curro School in Hermanus!
It is the one race where everything comes together”
“The singletracks are the best ever. Nothing compares!”
“Just the best 3 day stage event in SA”