FNB Wines2Whales Reroutes Day 1

The 2023 FNB Wines2Whales was due to depart Hermanus on its first day, but recent flooding has forced a change of plan!

FNB Wines2Whales |

There’s good news and bad news from the FNB Wines2Whales… its still happening, just not 100% in the Switchback mode that proved so popular with riders in 2022. Since the devastating floods in the Western Cape, the event organisers and local authorities have been working closely to ensure the event can go ahead safely and be filled with #SeriousGees as always.
The recent reopening of the Hemel en Aarde as well as Karwyderskraal roads has meant a dramatic increase in vehicle traffic on these roads, which presents a safety risk to our riders  on the originally planned Stage 1 of the 2023 FNB Wines2Whales Switchback.
The race will now proceed with Stage 1 starting and finishing at Lourensford Wine Estate. Teams will then be shuttled to Oak Valley to race Stage 2 and 3 as planned.
Speaking ahead of the 2023 FNB Wines2Whales, Race Director, Hendrico Burger said: “We have been looking forward to hosting a spectacular edition of FNB Wines2Whales and treating teams to a special Switchback route. The safety of our riders is our foremost priority, and we cannot proceed with the originally planned Stage 1 course due to safety concerns. This is especially disheartening, considering the dedicated efforts of our route team and the Hemel en Aarde trail builders, who have worked tirelessly to clear debris from the trails in the wake of recent floods to create new links in time for the 2023 edition.
“The rider experience for Stage 1 – though different – will still be excellent in Lourensford,” Burger promised. “There are enough trails to comfortably host an entire FNB Wines2Whales stage within the vast borders of the farm and the riding, as everyone who has been down the Lourensford Ultimate for example, knows it is exceptional.”
“We are extremely disappointed that the annual event will not have a presence in Hermanus this year due to logistical reasons. We look forward to welcoming the event back again next year,” says Councillor Clinton Lerm, Overstrand Mayco Member for Investment, Infrastructure and Tourism.
Stage 1 will therefore start and finish at Lourensford. The 59 kilometre stage will take in 1 800 metres of climbing and showcase the best singletracks on the estate in a way which has never been possible during the FNB Wines2Whales before. Thereafter teams will transfer to Oak Valley in busses, while their bicycles will be shuttled to the race village.
Stage 2 will then continue as planned, with the route taking in trails on Oak Valley, Paul Cluver and onto Tierkop. Stage 3 will also follow the originally planned route, starting at Oak Valley and looping above the Eikenhof Dam before climbing the A to Z Trails and descending Gantouw Pass into the Helderberg basin. After crossing through the Idiom and Vergelegen Game Reserves the race will enter Lourensford once more and follow the new Canal Trail to the finish line.
The flood-affected 2023 FNB Wines2Whales was already shaping up to be an event to remember. Further changes to the route will undoubtedly ensure that it stands out, even for the riders who have completed ten or more editions. It will however not change the #SeriousGees which reigns supreme in the race village. Riders taking part in the Chardonnay race are reminded to pack their Springbok supporters’ jerseys, or something green at the very least, in order to cheer on the team when they play England in the Rugby World Cup semifinal on Saturday evening.

2023 FNB Wines2Whales Switchback

20 to 22 October
23 to 25 October
27 to 29 October
Facebook: Wines2Whales
Instagram: @wines_2_whales
YouTube: Epic Series

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