De Villiers, who was third last year, says she will have to ride cleverly to win this time.
“Last year I started too fast. I felt a little weak towards the end. This time, I hope to avoid that so I’ll have more in the tank to go flat out at the finish.
“When the gun goes and the adrenaline is pumping one tends to be an eager beaver and go all out. We’ll have to see how it goes this weekend.”
De Villiers expects the competition to be tough. To win, everything has to go smoothly, she says.
De Villiers enjoys measuring herself against top riders who go all out to win.
“I have a fulltime job, so cycling is actually my hobby. But it’s good for me to see where I am in the bigger picture.
“I believe everyone is getting into top form for next month’s national XCO championships.”
Living in Oudtshoorn and having competed in the Knysna Cycle Tour MTB race a few times, De Villiers is confident that she knows the 80km route fairly well.
“I like climbing; that’s where my strong points are. There’s nowhere to hide on the route; you just have to go flat out.”
De Villiers’ achievements this season include winning the Trans Elands MTB Marathon, the Amarider 100Miler, the My SPAR MTB Classic, the Swartberg 100 Gran Fondo, the Herald Cycle Tour MTB race and the Midnight Express.
“I’ve had an excellent season and I think it’s going to help me mentally. I feel well and strong, so let’s hold thumbs that all will work out well. I’ll certainly give it my all.”