Defending champion Kim le Court believes an early climb could be important in the long-term when the Bestmed Berge en Dale road race takes place near Krugersdorp in Gauteng next weekend.
Seeking her third title in a row, the Demacon Women’s Team rider identified an 11km climb near the beginning of the 107km route as an opportunity to make a statement.
“There is going to be a lot of pressure on the start because the bunch can often break up on the climb,” she said.
“That’s what we would like to happen because it’s not great to have a big group at the top of the hill.
“I don’t want to give away any secrets, but from there it will be a case of trying to make sure Demacon are up front and deciding on our strategy as the race unfolds.”
Currently in Rwanda for the All African Continental Road Championships, the 21-year-old Mauritian rider believed the feature race would be well contested.
With the Cape Town Cycle Tour next month and many riders fresh from competing in the South African National Road Championships in Oudtshoorn last weekend, she said there was good form among the leading contenders.
She added that her team’s focus would not be on anyone specific, but they would rather try to ensure that one of them took top spot on the podium.
“While winning is my goal, the main objective is to work together as a team.
“We have some strong riders who know how to race and know how to help you during a race. We understand each other, communicate well and commit ourselves to what is decided.”
The team, who have HEAD Bikes SA as their equipment sponsor this year, also includes this year’s Fast One winner Lynette Burger, SA road champion Carla Oberholzer and Heidi Dalton.
The Berge en Dale, presented by Optimum Financial Services, starts at the Cradlestone Mall in Muldersdrift on the West Rand and is a seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Entries for the race close tonight.
Besides the main event, there will be a 59km road race as well. The mountain biking component has been cancelled this year.