David Maree is eager to test his condition at Saturday’s Kremetart Cycle Race in the Soutpansberg region. It is an event he has won before and in which he finished as runner-up the last time he competed.
“The format has changed for us [elites] slightly as we now ride the whole loop in one go and not in four stages like before. It will open the race up a bit more and I’m sure there will be a very small group at the end.”
The BCX rider, who will line up alongside teammates Nolan Hoffman, Clint Hendricks, Chris Jooste and Marc Pritzen, said due to the race taking place in winter they would end up riding for the person who felt the best towards the end.
“I think a move might stick. If I’m in it then I’ll have a good chance,” said Maree.
The 28-year-old, who knows the route well, said he thought it would be a hard race. The first climb would be crucial, but he would also have to conserve energy for the rest of the 175km course.
He was not sure who the other teams would be, but believed ProTouch, Barzani, Luso, Office Guru and Brad Potgieter from Vandergroup would be dangerous.
“There is a hard climb quite close to the finish that will be the big test. I know the route well as I’ve done the race a few times before.
“It’s a really hard start out of town, but then quite a flat run. I’d probably say the last 20km will be tough, but I’ll try to stick with the climbers over the last hill and use my speed to hopefully take a small group sprint.”
Maree felt that due to it being winter it was always tough to keep going with regards to form, especially with the big gaps between races.
“I usually keep my condition and don’t lose too much during the season, so I’m hoping for a strong personal performance.”
Maree said all in all he felt excited going into the race. “It’s always a great event with an awesome vibe. Prize-giving is always the best with the potjiekos.”
He concluded by saying that after the Kremetart race they would start a building process for the rest of the year.
“After this we will have the Bestmed Jock Classic and a training camp to prepare for the second half of the year. I’m also looking at going to some of the world cups on the track over the off-season.”