The series this year comprises nine races across KwaZulu-Natal where riders are allocated points based on their positions in the respective events.
Ballito Bicycle Company’s Johnson understands that it may be a challenge to stay on top.
“I am not sure if I will be able to hang on,” Johnson told In the Bunch today. “If Julian takes another win then it is unlikely I will still lead.
“I just want to compete with the likes of Julian, Stuart [Marais] and Andrew [Hill] as closely as possible. I do not have too high expectations.”
He said in the race itself he would like to hang onto those three riders for as long as possible, specifically in the first half.
“That is where there is a fair amount of single track and the fact that it is on my home trails I will try to use that section to stick with them.
“If I can keep the gap down heading towards the King of the Mountain I will stand a good chance in the second half of the race, which suits me. It is more flat and power-type riding.
“It will be great to be up there with them until the end; that is my main goal.”
He knows the routes relatively well which could count in his favour.
“There are probably about three single-track sections which are each about 10 minutes long. I have ridden on those sections quite frequently over the years,” Johnson said.
“Julian, Stuart and Andrew are very strong on the single track, so hopefully because I know those routes well it will allow me to hang on for as long as possible.”