FNB Wines2Whales Race 2015
Race report by Gawie Combrinck
Johann and I lined up this weekend at the FNB Whines2Whales racefor our last race of the season and as a team. The event raised it prize pursethis year and a packed field lined up to take on the amazing trails the 3 day eventhad to offer.
Stage 1 covered 76km with 1620m of climbing . The pace wasfast and furious from the gun and the RECM pairing of Erik Kleinhans and JamesReid made their intentions clear from start as they broke away on the firstclimb. The field was in pieces after that and Johann and I (EAI Cycling) wasleft chasing with the Team Contego pair of Adrian Louw and HB Kruger. The RECMpair slowly increased their lead as the stage went on. Defending championsChristoph Sauser and Kanny Looser (Investec Songo)soon joined us in the chase aswe headed to the dreaded Gantouw Pass, a compulsory portage section up an oldwagon trail. Konny and Cristoph showed if their mountaineering skills as theyran away from us up this section. We were still chasing with Contego, but couldn’tcatch the two teams ahead of us. RECM took the stage win with Christoph andKonny in 2nd and Johann I in 3rd on the line beating theContego pair in the sprint.
Stage 2 was labeled the play day and featured endless singletracks and groomed trails. It covered 66km with 1366m of climbing. For me itwas just a pain day as I was the nail to the Johann Rabie hammer. The trailswere amazing and there was never a dull moment on the spectacular route. Thiswas also the day for the youngsters to shine as the Red E pair of Matt Beersand Stephan Senekal took the Isuzu hotspot and finished 2nd on theday. RECM James Reid and Erik Kleinhans were strongest on the day again takingthe win and the USN pair of Waylon Woolcock and Darren Lill rounded of thepodium. We came in in 5th place and lost some time.
Stage 3 was a very fast stage from Oak Valey to Onrus. Johannand I were motivated to finish off our year with a win and knew the 74km stagewould suite us well. We needed just under 2 min to move into 2ndplace overall. We went all out from the gun and opened a gap on the chasingbunch after 20km. The only team that could stick with us was the RECM pair.Johann and I pushed the pace all day and steadily extended our lead to over 5min on the chasers. In the last few km we finally managed to get a small gap onthe REMB boys and took the stage win. RECM was 2nd on the day andContego rounded off the podium again.
1. RECM: Erik Kleinhans; James reid
2. EAI Cycling: Johann Rabie; Gawie Combrinck
3. Contego: Adrian Louw; HB Kruger
4. Investec Songo: Christoph Sauser; Konny Looser
5. Red E: Matt Berrs; Stephan Senekal
We would like to thank all of you for your support and help this last year. This was a great finish to a very successful year.