Riding for Team Silverback-Volvo, De Villiers will partner with Mariske Strauss in the three-stage race in the Witzenberg Valley.
The pair won the third and final stage last year after finishing second in the first two stages. They came second overall behind Jennie Stenerhag and Esther Süss, but De Villiers believes this weekend will pose different challenges.
“This year it is going to be hard,” she said. “There are seven other UCI women teams, a mix of strong international and local riders.
“They are all here to prove a point and to prepare themselves properly for the Cape Epic. It will be a good achievement just finishing in the top five,” she added.
The route itself may also be a difficult adjustment, De Villiers said. “There is quite a large section, at the Du Toit drop [in stage two], that was affected by fires.
“They’ve had to rebuild a lot, so I think the tracks will be very technical. There will be a lot of sandy and hard patches due to the drought. It will make riding difficult,” she added.
It would be important to remain composed throughout the stage race, said De Villiers.
“The stages are quite long; it will be important to take it water-point by water-point. It will also be crucial to not suffer any mechanicals along all the hard sections.
“On the rough and single-track terrains it will be important to gain enough composure to carry on pushing and work well together as a team,” she added.