Former champion Hanco Kachelhoffer will join forces with good friend Etnard Louw when they tackle the Sanlam Investments MTB Invitational in the Western Cape this weekend.
The two-day mountain-bike race takes place from the Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville, Cape Town, on Saturday and Sunday, covering stages of 40km and 39.8km.
The pair, who will be riding for Team ASG, showed their teamwork by winning the Storms River Traverse in 2016 and Kachelhoffer said they would be aiming for a spot on the podium.
The 33-year-old Paarl-based rider won the title two years ago with Pieter Seyffert and even though he is no longer riding professionally, he said the competitive juices would still be flowing when the race started.
“There is always an expectation to achieve something in any race you enter and we are certainly chasing a top three spot this weekend,” said Kachelhoffer.
He added that the race was a special occasion, with plenty of variety in the tracks and “a nice vibe during the weekend”.
Kachelhoffer, who will be riding in the Liberty TransCape from George to Franschhoek next year, said it was a matter of finding a balance over the two stages of the Sanlam MTB, presented by ASG Events.
He added he often felt stronger as a race progressed and cited the example of Seyffert two years again when he battled somewhat on the opening day after flying in from Johannesburg the day before the race.
“But by the second day he was back to his best, so getting the right balance over the weekend is the key to landing a spot on the podium.”