A blend of big names, local favourites and underdogs will vie for the title at this year’s 2023 FNB Wines2Whales Shiraz: The Men’s Teams To Watch.
Starting on Friday 27 October the Shiraz race sees a stacked field and the battle at the sharp end is bound to be fierce, even this late in a long season. PYGA Euro Steel, Imbuko Giant A, Insect Science, Elysator.ch and Cannondale Factory Racing headline the 2023 edition of FNB Wines2Whales, here’s what you need to know:
FNB Wines2Whales Shiraz: The Riders On Our Radar
Cannondale Factory Racing
- Alan Hatherly and Simon Andreassen are World Cup-caliber riders who could challenge for the overall title if they’re fresh.
- Cannondale Factory Racing is a well-funded team with a strong track record of success in stage races.
- Konny Looser is the defending champion and has a lot of experience racing in South Africa.
- Felix Stehli is a talented young rider who is making a name for himself in the stage racing scene.
PYGA Euro Steel
- Philip Buys and Alex Miller are both powerful riders who should be able to handle the climbs of the new FNB Wines2Whales Stage 1.
- PYGA Euro Steel is a deep team with several backup options in case of injuries or mechanical problems.
Imbuko Giant A
- Marco Joubert and Wessel Botha are both strong climbers and have a lot of experience racing together.
- Imbuko Giant A is a team that often performs best in the second half of stage races, so they could be a threat in the overall classification.
- Keagan Bontekoning and Arno du Toit are both aggressive riders who could make some big moves on the technical trails of the new FNB Wines2Whales Stage 1.
- Insect Science is a relatively new team, but they have a lot of potential and could be a surprise contender for the overall title.
Valley Electrical Titan Racing
- Gert Heyns is a former champion who knows what it takes to win FNB Wines2Whales.
- Matthew Keyser is a rising star in the South African mountain biking scene.
- Daniel van der Walt and Johan van Zyl are both talented young riders who have the potential to challenge for the overall title.
- Computer Mania is a well-supported team with much experience in stage races and could put in a dark horse show on some of the stages in this year’s FNB Wines2Whales.
- Justin Chesterton and Kai von During are both strong riders who have been knocking on the door of a stellar result this year.
- Look out for them to challenge for stage honours if the day suits them and some of the bigger names suffer a bad day.
- Tyler Lange and Luke Moir are both young and talented riders who could be the future of South African mountain biking.
- Billy’s Beach is a team that is always up for a challenge and could be a surprise contender for the podium.
Project Dream SA
- Johan de Villiers and Jordan Boshoff are both experienced riders who are always competitive in stage races.
- Project Dream SA is a team that is dedicated to developing young riders and could be a good place for them to gain experience and learn from more experienced riders.
- Matthew Leppan and Erick Heyns are both strong and experienced riders who could challenge for a top-10 finish.
ACDC Pro Racing
- Damion Gomez and Gert Jansen van Rensburg are both experienced riders who are always up for a challenge.
- ACDC Pro Racing is a team that is known for its aggressive racing style.
1Of1 Austrian Bikes / Team Vorarlberg
- Wolfgang Krenn is a highly experienced mountain biker who could be a dark horse in the overall classification.
- Moran Vermeulen is a talented young rider who is making a name for himself in the road cycling scene.
Toyota Specialized songo 2
- Zola Ngxakeni and Ntlantla Nonkasa are both experienced riders who are always competitive in stage races.
- Toyota Specialized songo 2 is a team that is always up for a challenge and could be a surprise contender for the podium.
To watch the 2023 FNB Wines2Whales racing action unfold follow @wines_2_whales on Instagram or like the Wines2Whales Facebook page. Regular updates will be posted on the Instagram and Facebook stories. Fans can also catch the daily highlights on the Epic Series YouTube channel and read all about how the racing unfolded on www.epic-series.com/wines2whales.
To get the scoop on what happened in the Women’s Elite Race, head here.
The race will get underway at 08:00, in Lourensford Wine Estate, before the teams are bused to the Oak Valley race village for lunch and the official Stage 1 prize giving, which takes place at 16:30. Stage 2 and 3 will begin at 07:00, as scheduled, following the same routes as used by the mid-week Pinotage event. The 2023 FNB Wines2Whales racing will conclude in Lourensford on Sunday, 29 October, and the final prize-giving will be conducted at 13:00.