The TIB-Insurance-Best4Sport pair expressed excitement at the prospect of tackling the new single-track-laden route.
The three-day event passes through Holla Trails and sections of Hill’s family farm, with stages of 65km, 53km and 32km.
“Our aim is to fight for a podium spot and we’ve been working towards it,” said Hill. “Shaun-Nick had a bit of a mid-year break and now he’s building up towards this.”
He said it was nice to be part of something close to home. “It was one of the main reasons I entered and it’s also good to support the local guys and races.
“The expectations are high from our local fans and we’ll definitely have a good fight out there.”
Hill felt strategy would be important and on the first day they would attempt to get a bit of a lead by pushing hard.
“We’ll see what comes of it and hopefully get something in the bank in terms of time. Maintaining momentum for each stage will be critical.
“The first day is the longest, the second is slightly shorter and the last day is a full-on sprint. Hopefully there will be another team who will be able to mix it up front and set a good pace.”
He said he and Bester had formed a good partnership as their strengths complemented each other.
“We gel well and get along on and off the bike. Shaun-Nick is quite a mellow guy when it comes to racing and doesn’t get upset about things. He’s good at going hard from the gun and always sets a good pace.
“I’m definitely a good stage-race type rider and I like the longer routes. I enjoy climbing and the Holla Trails section suits me as I know it quite well.”
Hill added that it was always exciting to win races, especially if it was the first one and in an area that was his “second home”.
“I’d love to get on the top step and it will mean a lot putting my name there after the first race. That’s the way to look at it and I’m super amped.”