At Wartburg in February, Marais – who is on 100 points – took the win over David Low. The latter is now on 86 points, while Leerou Emslie is in third on 74 points.
“I am hoping to pick up a second win, but I think there will be more competition this time,” said Marais.
“I know Andrew (Hill) will be there and I am pretty sure Travis (Walker) will take part, so things will be a bit tougher at Sugar Rush.
“Travis also won the Berg 100 this weekend so he is strong at the moment.”
In the women’s series Cherie Redecker is on top of the log with 100 points, but is now living in Europe and concentrating on the international cross country circuit.
That opens up the field for some great battles for the likes of Natalie Bergstrom and Christie-Leigh Hearder as they fight for points and their R25 000 reward at the end of the series.
Bergstrom is currently second on 86 points, 12 ahead of Hearder, and whoever finishes top between these two could take over top spot.
Hearder will be determined to put in a good showing at Sugar Rush after she got lost at the opening leg of the series at Wartburg which cost her any chance of a deserved second position.
But Bergstrom will be just as motivated to go top of the standings at what is a “home” race for her. She knows the Holla Trails routes exceptionally well.
This year, for the first time, a trail running series is being held in conjunction with the mountain bike event and going into the second round of the series, Mthoko Chamane holds the lead over Lungisane Majola in the men’s standings, while Wendy Mills leads Alison Wasserfall in the women’s event.