Joubert, who is currently second in the overall standings, said his runner-up position in the opening event in Tulbagh in April provided the self-assurance he needed to continue with cycling.
“I beat Alan Hatherly and Gert Heyns and finished just a minute behind Waylon Woolcock, which was a huge surprise to me. I saw that I could actually ride a bike pretty well so it was a huge confidence booster for me.”
Joubert admitted he had been close to hanging up his bike for good last year after a gruelling Cape Epic, which he completed alongside Andrew Warr.
“After that my body just keeshed and for the rest of the season I struggled to get back to where I was. I lost motivation.”
The 20-year-old made the decision to take a step back, moving to Cape Town and committing to a quieter racing calendar in which he focused on local events.
He made an exception for the SA National MTB Championships, but was left disappointed when he “just didn’t have the legs”.
“For the last two or three months I’ve been training flat-out for the national champs but now I’m just trying to carry my form over to the rest of the season.”
While the TrailSeeker Series was not the ultimate goal for the Momsen rider, he said he would be going for a top result at the penultimate event in Wellington on Saturday.
Leader Woolcock and round two winner Matt Beers have confirmed they’ll be at the start and Joubert said he’d have to ride smart to outpace them.
“If I ride cleverly I could pull off a win so I’ll just follow the stronger guys’ wheels and maybe, in the last 20km, I can do a solo attack or something. We’ll see on the day how the legs feel and take it from there.”
Since his low last year, Joubert said every race this year had been a highlight – particularly Tulbagh.
“I’ve felt like I outperformed myself each time. This year has been going really well for me so I’m very happy.”
After winning the Stellenbosch MTB Challenge on Sunday, Joubert’s next big focus will be Berg and Bush in October. He’ll pair up with Declan Sidey and said this weekend’s event would be good preparation.
“We want to do as well as we can there. We’ve been training hard and it’s a big goal for us.”
Game face in place, he said he still placed heavy emphasis on keeping his career fun.
“I’m always trying to keep things fun, change things up and keep it interesting.
“There’s a big mental side of the sport so I don’t want to burn out again. It’s easy to lose motivation because you’re pushing your body every day and it’s hard,” said Joubert, who grew up in Port Elizabeth.
“Balance is very important but luckily I enjoy all of this so it isn’t an issue.”