“I definitely met my goals,” he told In the Bunch. “It was quite a big relief to win and, as I said before the race, my form looked good in the lead-up.
“Winning overall makes a big difference for me, especially because I am trying to find a sponsor. Living in Bloemfontein it is quite difficult to secure one.
“The more races I get to win, the better,” he said after he also won the Platberg MTB Classic the week before.
Korkie said before the race he would especially focus on the first “technical” 25km stage, where he had lost time last year.
“My goal was to stick with Marc because he is strong in the technical sections. Last year he got quite a big gap on me there.
“Having been able to do that gave me a big confidence boost initially,” he said, after beating Fourie narrowly by two seconds.
Then on the second stage, a 72km route, Korkie created a comfortable cushion by beating Fourie by six minutes.
That was where he won the race, Korkie felt. “The second stage was longer, which was geared more towards my strengths.
“I thought it may have been a challenge getting away from Jean [Fourie] and Marc. Jean is normally strong on the flat sections, but I managed to get away.
“I thought he was going to catch up again, but he didn’t. I figured I would just need to push through on my own.
“With about 12km left I thought I may have gone a bit too early, but it paid off and I created a big gap. That is where most of the work was done.”
Korkie said he aimed to stick with the group and cover all the attacks on the third stage, a flat 74km route.
“Both Jean and Marc made a few attacks, but I just tried to make sure they didn’t get too much time on me.
“Then with about 15km to go, Marc went ahead and I followed him on a downhill with a sharp hairpin bend.
“Martin [van der Westhuizen], who fell out of contention the previous day, joined us and it came down to a sprint finish where I managed to win by four seconds after attacking slightly earlier.”
Korkie said he was watched closely on the final stage, which posed a challenge.
“Many times during the race I would ride on the other side of the road, while they would be riding in a line opposite from me. They tried to make sure I didn’t make any moves in decisive areas.
“If I had to get a flat or any other mechanical, they would use that opportunity to get into a better position on the general classification.
“I wouldn’t have been able to catch four guys for the first spot. It was a big challenge for me to make sure nothing happened to my bike; it was a bit of a headache.
“Fortunately, everything went smoothly,” he added.
Korkie finished with a final GC time of 6:25:05, just over six minutes ahead of Fourie. Jean Fourie completed the podium another two minutes back.