Du Toit will team up with South African national marathon champion Gert Heyns for the gruelling 24-hour ultra-endurance marathon.
DSV’s Heyns has had a highly successful season, winning several one-day and multi-stage races so far. He topped off this run of success with the national title last month.
Scott Sport Africa’s Du Toit has been prominent in both marathon and cross-country racing, finishing second overall behind Alan Hatherly on the SA XCO Series log and third in the national cross-country champs.
He also finished sixth in the marathon champs, where Heyns triumphed.
Despite their successes this season, Du Toit did not consider himself and Heyns favourites for the ultra-endurance race.
“I don’t think we should be regarded as favourites because it is just so different for both of us,” Du Toit told In the Bunch today.
“It will obviously be very challenging in terms of length. We are used to going hard and using maximum effort for about four hours.
“This race will be double that time, so it will be challenging for us to stay calm and not burn all our matches too early. It will be important not to get over-excited too soon.”
Du Toit said after both national championships last month that he had been “mentally relaxed” in his approach.
He revealed that he and Heyns had decided to take part in the Trans Baviaans this year as something of an impulsive “joke”.
“Both our girlfriends wanted to do it as part of their ‘bucket list’ kind of thing,” Du Toit explained.
“My girlfriend and I did it last year socially, but Gert’s girlfriend hasn’t done it before. That’s when they decided to do it together.
“Then Gert and I just joked that we would do it together too. The next thing you know we entered and now we’re going for it.”
Being close friends off the bike, Du Toit said he and Heyns had a good understanding of each other’s riding style.
“We get along very well and we can read each other quite adequately.
“We also have similar strengths, which always helps. Gert has shown this season that he is really confident. He’s riding very well, but I’m also happy with my own form.
“I was happy with my results at the national champs and I think my form is good.”
The route will descend most of the way as it heads towards the coast and after doing the race last year Du Toit recalled that the first half of the race was “very fast”.
“The biggest [issue] for me will be to save matches there for the second half of the route.
“The racing will really only start in the second half. There are a lot more ups and downs. Gert and I discussed that we should not be afraid to go alone there.
“It will be very rolling and the climbs will be longer. To keep it going will obviously be challenging, but that is sort of the plan theoretically.”
Du Toit identified Tim Hammond as one of their main competitors. Hammond won the Trans Baviaans with Matt Beers last year.
He rode with Hammond at the eight-day Cape Epic in March, so is familiar with his abilities.
Despite having excelled in both mountain-bike disciplines this year, Du Toit said he would “start moving more towards marathons in the future” but admitted the Trans Baviaans was a different kettle of fish altogether.