Knox will be riding with Colombian legend Héctor Leonardo Páez Leon (Kansai Plascon), while Beers will team up with Switzerland’s Konny Looser (RED-E/Ryder).
No all-South African team have won the Cape Epic overall, but SA riders have enjoyed success across many categories when partnered with foreigners.
Most notable among these was Burry Stander, who triumphed three times with Switzerland’s Christoph Sauser.
Knox represents the current generation of marathon specialists and was in compelling form in 2016.
Beers is only 23 and his natural ability and appetite for hard work suggest he will be a star of the next generation.
“Obviously the overall win is our main objective. But with it being a very new partnership with Leo and being the Cape Epic, where so much can go wrong, that will be a big challenge,” said Knox.
“If we end up on another step of the overall podium that will be good, but the win is our main objective. Some stage wins may present themselves if we are in the mix for the overall, we will grab those opportunities of course.”
Páez was leading the Marathon World Championships in 2016 before a mechanical ended his title aspirations. Now he has set his sights on the world’s foremost mountain bike stage race.
“I have heard a lot about the Cape Epic. I know it is one of the toughest stage races in the world and the most important one to win. If you are a serious mountain bike racer you must try to compete in the Cape Epic at least once,” said Páez.
Looser and Beers have been putting in the hours in training but are cautious about making any predictions.
“We are definitely not among the favourites for the overall podium, but I hope we can use this to our benefit and start the race with little pressure, which will maybe help us to calm down a bit,” said Looser.
Beers will bring his local knowledge to the partnership, but Looser has also been a familiar, and often successful, figure at stage races in the country in recent years.
“I know a lot of the riding in those areas, especially Grabouw and Hermanus as I’ve done quite a few local races there. It’s going to be extremely challenging, that’s for sure. You really have to work the bike on the trails around there,” said Beers.