The former XCO world champion, who will race for Team Ascendis Health, said today she was looking forward to competing in the one-day mountain-bike race.
“I’ve never done an ultra-marathon at this time of the year, but I’m curious to see what my fitness level is.”
The three-time Olympic medallist said her winter training used to be mostly road based.
“But I’ve spent a lot of time on my mountain bike in summer conditions recently and I’m keen to see the results of the extra effort.”
Spitz, who was the European MTB marathon champion in 2015, expects the 121km route and its 2 600m of elevation, as well as “all the fit girls”, to be a challenge.
“I’ll take it as it comes and not waste energy. In general, I like this kind of race and I hope I can say afterwards the Attakwas suits me.
“It’s always difficult to say before the first race of the year which riders one should be looking out for, but based on their recent performances I will keep an eye on Jennie Stenerhag, Ariane Lüthi, Robyn de Groot and Amy McDougall.”
Spitz’s teammate De Groot is a multiple SA marathon champion. The two overcame several setbacks, including mechanical issues and injuries, when they finished third in last year’s Cape Epic.
De Groot said today the Attakwas, as the first race of the season, was always a challenge.
“It’s one of the few ultra-marathons in South Africa. It’s gruelling and it tests the riders, physically as well as mentally.
“There are some really competitive women in the field, which should make for an interesting race.”
De Groot, also the SA XCM champion, said she felt ready and prepared for the weekend’s racing.
“I know what the race demands. I know where I come from and I’m aware of my preparation. Based on it all, I have a realistic goal for tomorrow.”