Potgieter said he felt positive in the build up to the event as he knew the track, which he’d experienced in the past, was well suited to him.
“My goal for today was to win and I knew I could do it,” said Potgieter, but he admitted the nerves had been one of the greatest challenges.
“I was very nervous for today and I struggled to sleep last night.
“When you come to SA champs people expect you to win and you yourself known it is possible. From my experience over the years I knew I just had to stay calm and realise what I had to do.”
The 30-year-old said he’d been happy with his seeding run as he’d delivered a fast, competitive time.
“I knew my time was competitive but I also knew the other guys were going to go faster in their runs. I knew I’d have to pull out all the stops.”
Potgieter said the Mankele track, which he said wasn’t particularly long, was a tricky course as it featured sections that were technical and others that required much pedaling.
“It’s isn’t a super high-speed track but it’s technical as it features a lot of rock gardens and really tight corners,” said Potgieter. “It’s important to carry speed around these but it isn’t easy.”
The Port Elizabeth resident said the place to make up time was at the top, near the start of the track, where it was less technical but had a lot of tight “zigzags”.
“To win the crucial point is at the top because you have to peddle to make up the time before you hit the forest.”
He went on to add that it was important to not dedicate too much energy to the early section though as this would be a costly mistake.
“It’s tricky because if you peddle too much in the early section you get tired quickly and then you have to enter the forest.
“You enter there at about 40 or 50km per hour and if you’re already tired when you hit the technical sections, it makes your chances of making a mistake much higher.”
He said all of this had been running through his mind before the start, but he’d channelled his focus into the outcome he wanted.
“It’s still a bit of a gamble in the downhill, but I knew what I had to do and I went out and did it.”
Potgieter finished in 2:17, followed by Stefan Garlicki and Christopher Philogene. The women’s category was won by Zandri Strydom.