PYGA Euro Steel Make it Two-from-Two at FNB Wines2Whales

w2w
Riders during the 2021 FNB Wine2Whales 3 day mountain bike event, Shiraz. Stage 2 from Oak Valley to Oak Valley. Image by Sam Clark

Play Day on the FNB Wines2Whales Shiraz race lived up to the pre-event hype, with spectacular trails and fast paced racing. Yet, also, as predicted, it was difficult for PYGA Euro Steel or {type}DEV Nanotime to make a stage winning move. Thus, the day culminated in a sprint, which Philip Buys and Gert Heyns won.

Riders during the 2021 FNB Wine2Whales 3 day mountain bike event, Shiraz. Stage 2 from Oak Valley to Oak Valley. Image by Sam Clark –

For the second time in two days Philip Buys and Gert Heyns crossed the Oak Valley finish line, of FNB Wines2Whales in first position. The overnight leaders of the Shiraz event were able to extend their general classification lead – on Saturday, 13 November – by a further 2.7 seconds. Matt Beers had surged ahead but with Wessel Botha unable to match the PYGA Euro Steel team in the sprint the {type}DEV Nanotime combination had to settle for second.

Riders during the 2021 FNB Wine2Whales 3 day mountain bike event, Shiraz. Stage 2 from Oak Valley to Oak Valley. Image by Sam Clark –

“It was a fast start again this morning and it was great to get away with the {type}DEV Nanotime team early in the stage” Heyns explained. “They both have great technical skills which makes racing a day filled with singletrack, like today, a lot less stressful. It was very dusty out there on the trails, so you have to trust the wheel in front of you.”

“We did try to shake Matt [Beers] and Wessel [Botha] a few times today, but the course never really made it possible to make a significant break” Heyns added. “We do have an advantage going into tomorrow though and I think Stage 3 is going to be a great one. I hope it breaks up early on again because the Gantouw Pass will be very interesting if you have to run down there in a group.”

Riders during the 2021 FNB Wine2Whales 3 day mountain bike event, Shiraz. Stage 2 from Oak Valley to Oak Valley. Image by Sam Clark –

Beers had expected Stage 2’s route to make it difficult to make inroads into PYGA Euro Steel’s lead. “We had a good day today, but Phil [Buys] and Gert [Heyns] were flying” the South African marathon champion confided. “We have kept the race alive heading into Stage 3. But I know from past experience that the PYGA Euro Steel guys are fast runners. Keeping up with them on the portage will be a challenge, but there are opportunities to make up time on the general classification.”

Riders during the 2021 FNB Wine2Whales 3 day mountain bike event, Shiraz. Stage 2 from Oak Valley to Oak Valley. Image by Sam Clark –

Imbuko Giant were third on the day, strengthening their grip on the final podium place, despite a spectacular crash for Marco Joubert.

Riders during the 2021 FNB Wine2Whales 3 day mountain bike event, Shiraz. Stage 2 from Oak Valley to Oak Valley. Image by Sam Clark – PLEASE ENSURE THE APPROPRIATE CREDIT IS GIVEN TO THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND FNB W2W

“I think I clipped a rock or a tree stump with my foot” Joubert confessed. “It ejected me straight over the bars and onto the trail. Fortunately, it was more dramatic than hard, so I think I’ll be okay for the last stage tomorrow.”

Riders during the 2021 FNB Wine2Whales 3 day mountain bike event, Shiraz. Stage 2 from Oak Valley to Oak Valley. Image by Sam Clark –

If Joubert and Tristan Nortje were to falter on the final day, Insect Science Pro’s Arno du Toit and Keagan Bontekoning are poised to strike. The pair are only 2 minutes and 41 seconds off the podium places. First Move Sport’s Jaco Venter and Matthew Keyser will set out for Lourensford, in fifth position, on Sunday.

Mountain biking fans can tune in, from 07:00, on Sunday to witness the conclusion of the 2021 FNB Wines2Whales series of races. Live updates will be available on www.wines2whales.com and on Twitter, @w2wmtb. Stories, videos and photos from the 70-kilometre-long route, can be viewed on Instagram, @wines_2_whales.

FNB Wines2Whales Shiraz Results:

Stage 2:

  1. PYGA Euro Steel: Philip Buys & Gert Heyns (2:26:24)
  2. {type}DEV Nanotime: Matt Beers & Wessel Botha (2:26:27 | +2.7)
  3. Imbuko Giant: Tristan Nortje & Marco Joubert (2:30:09 | +3:45)

General Classification Results after Stage 2:

  1. PYGA Euro Steel: Philip Buys & Gert Heyns (4:57:09)
  2. {type}DEV Nanotime: Matt Beers & Wessel Botha (4:58:31 | +1:22)
  3. Imbuko Giant: Tristan Nortje & Marco Joubert (5:06:06 | +8:57)
Riders during the 2021 FNB Wine2Whales 3 day mountain bike event, Shiraz. Stage 2 from Oak Valley to Oak Valley. Image by Sam Clark
Riders during the 2021 FNB Wine2Whales 3 day mountain bike event, Shiraz. Stage 2 from Oak Valley to Oak Valley. Image by Sam Clark –

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here