Dubbed ‘Play Day’, Stage 2 is one of the FNB Wines2Whales’s many draw cards, with sublime singletrack, manicured berms and mind-blowing descents. For 2019 the route reshuffle means that riders remain in Oak Valley for the first 15 kilometres, climbing initially and then descending Vissie’s Magic, JK’s Edge, Sounds of Silence, Indensity and Cow’s Trail. Then it’s uphill again towards Witklippies One and Two before dropping towards the Paul Cluver Amphitheatre at the 35 kilometre mark. With tanks topped up by Woolworths’ water point spread riders then take on FNB W2W’s famous snake singletracks. Cobra, Mamba and Boomslang lead into the day’s Land Rover Experience: Pofadder. Having been rebuilt following the February 2019 fire Pofadder is now faster and more flowing but still a challenge for those who ride singletracks at full speed. From Pofadder the route hugs the mountains before passing under the N2 and climbing on new singletracks towards the Lebanon trails. The lower two Lebanon singletracks lead the field back under the highway to the stage’s final water point at the Hickory Shack, after 52 exhilarating kilometres of mountain biking. The Thandi Switchbacks are the final sting in the tail before the thrilling, purpose-built KROMCO-PERI Play Park. From there it’s a 10km dash to the finish through farm roads and “The long way home” singletrack.
Stage Icons: Singletracks and Paul Cluver Amphitheatre. Mind-blowing trails of Vissie’s Magic, JK’s Edge, Sounds of Silence, Witklippies 1 & 2, Cobra, Mamba, Boomslang, Pofadder, Lebanon and of course the KROMCO-PERI Play Park.
Land Rover Experience: Having been rebuilt for the 2019 events there can be no argument that Pofadder is a fitting choice for the day’s Land Rover Experience. At 420 metres long it is by no means the lengthiest singletrack of the stage but it is sure to be the most memorable. It starts as a path cut into the steep mountainside before crossing a gorge on a bridge built partially from wine barrels. The nervous among the FNB W2W field need not be concerned as the bridge is covered by a wire mesh, ensuring excellent grip regardless of the weather conditions.
Strava: Pofadder ST
Hendrico’s Stage Advice: Ride as many singletracks as you can in preparation. Singletrack requires more concentration and work than open roads so work on your skills!
Terrain: Good quality gravel roads. Manicured berms, purpose-built singletrack. Nothing overly technical.