“I wanted to enter last year, but was not able to, so now I’m really looking forward to my first one.
“I would say that South Africa is definitely at the forefront of mountain biking in the world and this always makes for a great experience,” she said.”
A medical condition barred Stenerhag from completing the Epic last year and she underwent surgery to rectify the condition.
Stenerhag was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) but a successful operation ensured she was able to ride in the Epic the following year.
“I was very tempted to enter the Winelands, but, with the timing of my heart operation, I didn’t have much time to recover. I didn’t want to risk doing something too soon.”
The 41-year-old Swedish star rode with Swiss rider Esther Süss and the two of them finished top of the podium at the Epic this year.
The three-day Winelands race, in partnership with STANLIB, is now at the front of Stenerhag’s mind as she prepares for the event which takes place from April 21.
“Having missed out last year, I’m looking forward to this year as it looks like a beautiful race with lots of single-track.”
The Swedish national marathon champion said she planned to tackle to 180km event with 2016 Trailseeker Series winner Katie Lennard.
“We haven’t ridden together, but Katie is a really strong climber and she is improving race by race so I believe we will do well together.”
The race will visit the Western Cape towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl and Wellington.
Go to www.winelandsencounter.co.za for more information.