Although he was familiar with the route, the AC/DC Dynamics Luso Cycling rider warned that “cycling can be very unpredictable”.
“You never know what can happen on the day,” Beneke told In the Bunch today.
“Last year’s race was very fast and isolated because of the wind directions. The chances are slim that the exact same weather conditions will repeat themselves this weekend.
“To defend my title will be fantastic, but I would also like to at least finish on the podium. I’m happy with my fitness at the moment, but I cannot be over-confident. I don’t know too well what to expect.”
The race conditions would suit him though, Beneke predicted. “The route is a bit longer than usual races; it’s still fast, yet also hard.
“The combination of the two suits me. Last year I managed to break away and I had enough in the tank to win from there.”
This year however, Beneke felt he would be targeted. “There will be more eyes on me and my moves will be closely watched.
“All the top riders have been eager to win lately. It has been an open playing field.
“I think many guys are getting tired of bunch sprints and they would be aiming to make early breakaways. Hopefully we can do that again this year.”
Beneke, who won stage five of the Mpumalanga Tour a month ago and finished sixth at the SA National Road Championships road race on Saturday, said he expected a strong field.
“The BCX guys are very good sprinters, which will suit this race. Tyler Day is looking in good form; he just joined a new team [Barzani Pro Cycling] and I’m sure he wants to get a win under the belt.
“The ProTouch riders were great in the SA champs – they really ripped the race apart – and I think they will want to do that again at the Ride for Sight. Teamwork will play a big role.”
He felt confident going into the race, Beneke added. “My form is good enough to be confident to get a result.
“I’m currently leading the Support SA Series standings for certain road races. That has lifted my confidence a bit.