The 19-year-old Stellenbosch local said he had heard great things about the event, which is a 100km off-road journey to Knysna via Prince Alfred’s Pass.
“This event has been on my bucket list for quite a while and I’m hoping for a good day out on the bike.”
As it was his first time riding in the event he said he could not draw on previous experience, but did know it was a long way to race off-road.
“I would say my plan is to ride as smart as possible to get the best result.
“From what I’ve heard there’s a critical climb right at the beginning where it’s important to get into the best group possible and get down the other side problem- and mechanical-free.”
He added that most of the route was open gravel roads with more climbs towards the end which would test the riders. He felt his best approach would be to ride in a group most of the way.
The line-up will see a mix of youth and experience, with ex-professional rider and Bekker’s trainer Waylon Woolcock also participating.
“I’m excited to be racing against him over a longer than usual distance,” said Bekker.
He added that as the race was likely to last more than three hours, preparation was different to how it was for a cross-country event, for example.
“Waylon has been coaching me for the last three years so we understand each other well. This is also an event that he has won in the past  and I’m sure he knows how to prepare,” said Bekker.
“I guess that was my biggest reason to enter. I’m looking forward to a different kind of racing in an area that I love,” said Bekker, for whom this is his first year competing in the U23/elite category.