Etapa 3

69km & 1 400m Climbing

Oak Valley Wine Estate to Onrus

The third and final day of the FNB Wines2Whales is a challenging affair – especially with nearly 129 kilometres of riding and 3 200 metres of climbing in the legs. Do not be fooled by the route profile and make sure not to get sucked into racing dynamics early on – most of the climbing comes in the last 30 kilometres, so save something for the end. The trickiest section of this stage is the Kat Pas descent just after the Houw Hoek trails. Caution is advised as this is a particularly fast downhill with a rocky, loose and sometimes quite rutted surface. Water Point 1 is located at the Botrivier School where you’ll experience a truly memorable moment as local schoolchildren and their families line up in support. The next 20 kilometre section, which takes in a large portion of the Wildekrans trails before rising to Water Point 2  is arguably the most important portion of Stage 3. It is essential that you pace yourself correctly as a nasty series of ups and downs await – the breathtaking Gaf-se-Bos and Hemel en Aarde trails. Here you’ll confront as many climbs as you will descents before ducking under the road and following a downhill towards the Atlantic Ocean. On the Onrus beach spectacular views await, before a final little kick up onto the tar road allows for an easy roll across the finish line.

Jakkals River Trail, Kat Pas descent after Houw Hoek, Botrivier town (look out for the crèches), the Hemel en Aarde trails and the bridge across the Onrus beach.

The Gorge will be more than familiar to any FNB W2W old hand. The trail hugs the cliff face while below, to the left the Onrus River bubbles downstream towards the sea. Featuring an intimidating initial drop, on a bridge, it gradually opens and becomes increasingly easy to ride at pace. It is definitely less technical than it looks, so do not be unnecessarily intimidated, trust your skills and your bike will do the rest.
Strava: The Gorge

Ride within your limits down the Kat Pas and remember 80% of the climbing is after the 40km mark. Save some energy to enjoy the run in to Onrus across the beautiful beach.

Rocky climbs and descents. Sand and manicured trails upon entering Hemel en Aarde.