The 24-year-old, who won the mixed category at the Cape Epic in March, said she cracked her hip during stage five and still finished the eight-day race. However this caused “serious damage” and she took two to three months to recuperate.
“I just started riding again and then I’ve been sick on and off, so I’m really not very fit,” said Giliomee who had flu and then bronchitis.
“Last year I didn’t know who was racing [in the Karoo to Coast] and I also had my wisdom teeth taken out the week before so my plan was never to race. Then I started pretty fast, but I wasn’t trying to win.”
The Journey by Junto rider completed the 100km route to Knysna in a time of 4:07:12, while Jeanie de Villiers took the honours. With De Villiers not competing this year the race will see a new title-holder.
Giliomee, who recently won the mixed race at the Storms River Traverse, said she had no expectations for this weekend and just wanted to go out and ride.
“I’m from Knysna and that’s where I learnt how to ride. This event is my absolute favourite as it’s is in a place that’s very special to me.”
The Stellenbosch BCom Masters Public Development and Management student said there were also family links as her parents owned the garage across the road from the finish.
“It’s on my doorstep so I’m very excited to get out there and enjoy the route. A lot of my friends will also be there so it will be nice to see them.”
She added that neither last year nor this round did she feel she had the form to achieve a spectacular result. It would come down to how she felt on the day.
“I’ve been on antibiotics so if I don’t feel well then I need to ride slowly. I went for a check-up recently and they said that I’m good to go.”