Jennie Stenerhag

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Wines2Whales 2013


It was time for another stage race on Friday, I had just (or maybe not fully) recovered from the Pioneer when it was time to go and register for the Wines2Whales. For the first time ever in a team stage race I was going to race in the ladies category, my partner was Yolande De Villiers and I must say that I was really looking forward to this race. It is a very well organised race with lots of fun handbuilt single tracks that changes every year and I think it is, if possible, getting better and better every year.


I had managed to organize an entry through one of the sponsors of the event Isuzu, it was a privelige to ride in their colors and they took good care of us, so a bit thank you to Isuzu SA for this race!


Day 1 Lourensford to Oak Valley, 75km and 1600 meters of climbing

It was a bit of a mess at the start, everyone is so eager to get to the front but luckily the first hill starts already after 500 meters so the field got spread out naturally. I felt strong in the beginning and we could leave our 2 biggest competitions behind from the start of the hill. After 8km of climbing I must say that my legs hurt a lot. Yolande was super strong on the day and I had to dig deap to stay with her. I think I pushed harder then I thought I could:-). It was a fun route with lots of ups and downs and nice single tracks! We won the stage 8 minutes ahead of Candice and Ashleigh from the BMC team and 16 minutes ahead of Hanlie Boyens and Sharon Laws from team Food Lovers Market.


Day 2 Oak Valley to Oak Valley, 66km and 1300 meters of climbing

It was drizzeling in the morning and I got flashbacks from the Pioneer, but it stopped as we started and turned out to be a nice sunny day. Today was ”play day”, lots of hand built single tracks and bridges to cross, most of it was new from last year, and it was lots of fun!! It was a faster stage and Yolande was, if possible, even stronger then yesterday! I had a hard time out there. We had an extra motivation today since they had announced an Isuzu hot spot somewhere on the route, it was R5000 for the first men and first ladies team there, so it was full gas from the start since we did not know where it was! We managed to stay clear from the other teams from the start to finish and extended our overall lead and the podium looked the same as yesterday.

Some of the bridges

Through the celler


Hot spot prize:-)


Day 3 Oak Valley to Onrus, 75 km and 1200 meters of climbing

We were heading to the coast on the last day so it was more down then up, even though we still had some tough climbs to get over. The first 35km was basically downhill with some short steep hills on single tracks thrown in here and there. We had a lead of 16 minutes so today was just about keeping the bike and body in one piece and I think we were both mostly nervous for mechanicals. It all went well and for the third day in a row we were in the lead from start to finish.


It was a great feeling to cross that finish line knowing that we had won our first stage race together. It was great racing with Yolande and I am sure we will be doing more stage races together in the future!!


Thank you Stillwater for organizing such a great event and thank you Isuzu for giving us the entry!

Start day 3

Finish of day 3!

Podium with Candice, Ashleigh, me, Yolande, Hanlie and Sharon

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