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Wines to Wales in Overberg

More than 300 mountain bike enthusiasts will take to the track this weekend for the 2010 Wines2Whales (W2W) Pre-Ride in preparation for the second Contego W2W 3-day mountain bike stage race in November, which is already fully subscribed with a waiting list of more than 400 riders.

The W2W Ride is a non-competitive two-day stage event and participants can enter in three categories ÔÇô fast (3.5 to 4.5 hours per stage), average (4 to 5.5 hours per stage) and slow (5 to 7 hours per stage).┬á All categories cycle the same route and each category is guided by 2-5 guides.

According to event organiser Michael Meyer of Stillwater Sports and Entertainment, the objective of the W2W Ride is two-fold.┬á ÔÇ£We want to offer participants the opportunity to test their skills and endurance levels in anticipation of the Contego W2W Race in November, but also allow other riders a chance to experience the scenic splendour of the route in a non-competitive environment. ┬áThis is the perfect chance to experience this amazing race, which I believe will grow into one of the most spectacular races in South Africa,ÔÇØ says Meyer.

Stage one of the ride starts at 8am on Saturday 24 April at the Tri-Active Centre in Elgin.  The 73 kilometre route across jeep, single tracks and gravel roads runs through the forests of Oak Valley, Grabouw, Lebanon and Houwhoek and finishes at the same venue.

The second stage starts at 7.30am on Sunday 25 April at the Tri-Active Centre and will follow an awe-inspiring 82km scenic route through the Elgin pass, Lebanon, Houwhoek, along the wineries in the Botriver Valley, Karwyderskraal, passing the wineries of Hemel-en-Aarde and will finish at the Hermanuspietersfontein Cellar at the Hermanus-Sandbaai intersection.

The event allows riders to participate at their own pace. If the pace is too fast, a rider can wait at a water point for the following category or start the next day in a different category. Support vehicles will be available at water points to offer a lift to tired MTB riders and sweepers will check that no one is left behind.

ÔÇ£The Contego W2W events offer a good balance of fun, endurance, scenery and comradeship. We will re-invest in┬ároute development and are committed to building long-term relationships with landowners and wineries in an effort to establish mutually beneficial and enduring partnerships with the product owners en-route.┬á To ensure effective destination and product marketing of the wineries, some venues are utilised as water stops and spectator vantage points,ÔÇØ concludes Meyer.

For more information on the Wines2Whales three-day mountain bike stage race, please contact Stillwater Sport & Entertainment on (021) 883-2413 or e-mail [email protected] or visit