His chances of achieving that milestone were dealt a blow when his stalwart partner Philip Buys fell ill almost two months ago, preventing him from racing.
Although he won the last two Race titles alongside Buys, Beukes remains confident and cautiously optimistic of doing well with his new partner.
“It would be really special to get a hat-trick of wins, but I am not expecting too much,” he told In the Bunch today.
“Julian has been writing exams and his focus has been a bit divided, which is understandable. I will try not to put too much pressure on him.
“But we will definitely do what we can,” he added.
“The Epic helped us a lot in terms of our riding styles and strengths. We definitely know how to ride with each other a bit more now.
“Fitness-wise, the Epic should still be in the legs, which will help a lot at this point.
“We do not live in the same town, so we cannot train together at all. In that sense, the Epic provided great preparation.”
His own training has been good, Beukes added. “On my end, it has been going well. I won the joBerg2c last week and I felt good.
“And I think Julian has put in the training he was able to do, but it is understandable if it has taken a slight back seat.”
Fortunately, for Beukes, he knows what to expect heading into the race in terms of the route.
“The route will be exactly the same [as in previous years],” he said. “I know the route really well.”
He expects the second day to be decisive. “Day two will be the big one; it has the longest and most climbs.
“It will definitely be the hardest day. It is the make or break day and may break up the field a lot.
“I am looking forward to the race though. It is always a special event.”
Beukes sees the NAD Pro teams comprising Matt Beers and Nico Bell, as well as Gawie Combrinck and guest rider Barend Burger, as posing the biggest threats during the race.
He said he was also wary of DSV’s Gert Heyns and Arno du Toit.