Potgieter, who had been selected for the national team to take part in the Sharjah Tour next week, entered for the Fast One only on Friday after previous commitments prevented him from competing in another race on Saturday.
“I went into the race not knowing what to expect,” he said today, “but it was a good start to the season. I was in good form after my base training in the off-season. I’m glad it paid off.”
Potgieter had not raced since winning the Double Century for Team Active Bodies in November last year.
Mainly a road specialist, he adapted well to the conditions of an event that many regard as the fastest and flattest mountain-bike race in South Africa.
“I spent the first hour holding back slightly to watch the other riders,” he said. “I wanted to get a proper feel of the speed.
“I soon realised it was very fast and flowing. We were averaging about 30 kilometres per hour. That’s not really normal for mountain-biking.
“I did a lot of pedalling, just like on the road, but my fitness helped a lot.”
Potgieter took the lead about 35km from the finish.
“I did my first tester about halfway,” he recalled. “A few guys challenged and came across, but I managed to get away on the next climb.
“Once I had established a one-minute lead, I settled into a rhythm and stayed in front. I won by almost three minutes,” he said.
“Coming out of off-season and getting selected straight away meant a lot to me,” he said. “It’s a privilege to receive recognition from the selectors.”