Dylan Rebello and Marco Joubert will be looking to shrug off the effects of the Cape Epic when they take on the Liberty Winelands Encounter Series, starting near Stellenbosch on Friday.
The Imbuko-Momsen pair had their plans for the year disrupted somewhat when Joubert broke a collarbone in January and this will only be their second race since then.
The Winelands Encounter is part of a three-race series which started with the TransCape and ends with the Waterberg Encounter in June.
The 22-year-old Rebello said the three-day event would be a chance to assess themselves mentally and physically after the Epic.
“We are still feeling the effects of that, but we definitely would like to win the race.
“In addition, the event has a great vibe and we are looking forward to being part of that.”
Although route designer Johan Kriegler has tweaked the course to make it a bit more manageable, Rebello said there would still be some challenges.
“The areas the stages cover are still rocky and technical in places. Even if they are relatively shorter, I believe there will be some tough competition.”
In the mixed section, Carmen Buchacher will be looking for some sort of redemption after ending sixth in the Cape Epic.
The Cape Town-based Austrian will pair up with Paris Basson for dormakaba.
She showed her versatility earlier in March when she finished second overall in the Bestmed Tour of Good Hope road race.
“By ending sixth in the Epic after finishing fifth place last year seems like a step backwards,” she said.
“I am feeling strong at the moment and we will definitely be aiming for top spot on the podium.”
Buchacher said such an outcome would make up for the second place she achieved with Matthew Stamatis last year.