Kruger was originally selected to represent South Africa at the world showpiece event, but he was yet another name added to the growing list of riders pulling out of international events due to a lack of financial support from Cycling SA.
Instead, Kruger plans to defend his title at the 60km Fedhealth event, a race he described as being close to his heart.
“I won the race last year after having returned from injury so it was a great feeling winning it,” Kruger told In the Bunch today.
“The race has a special place in my heart because it is so close to home and it takes place on the same trails that I train on a lot.
“I’m looking forward to it and I’m quite amped to go race,” the Stellenbosch resident added.
The Ellsworth-ASG rider has had a successful season in local races, having racked up several wins in the Western Cape this year.
However he expects a competitive field at the Franschhoek race.
“Gert [Heyns] and Arno [du Toit] might also be there and it is also sort of a local race in their home valley.
“I think we could expect a decent turn-out of guys who are capable of taking the victory.”
Kruger, who clearly knows the route well, said it was quite challenging, which could bode well for his chances.
“There are a couple of inclines where you really have to focus and which could take a lot out of you.
“But it’s actually one of my favourite routes; it has a lot of single-track and it is in a very scenic and beautiful area.
“I haven’t raced against all the top guys in one event in a while but I’m feeling quite positive and very excited to see where my legs are at.”
However, Kruger expressed disappointment at not being able to race in the world marathon champs.
“It was part of my major goal this year to qualify to go to the world champs, but the lack of funding was always going to be a setback for any athlete.
“Especially with this year’s world champs being a bit more of a logistical issue as well, considering it takes place far from any city. [Consequently] getting there will cost more than usual.
“I am quite bleak about it, but hopefully I can make it again next year. It would help if we knew a lot earlier, though, which would give us the opportunity to raise awareness and get some support and funding from different areas to compete.”
In fact, Kruger said he had received an offer of funding but because he was notified of his selection too late and had already withdrawn he could not take it up.
“I already made the decision not to go to world champs, but then the Cape Winelands Cycling Academy contacted me and told me that they were able to arrange to help out with funding.
“That was such a positive thing which showed that they’re doing something right and going in the right direction. That gave me a bit of faith – that the local provincial-level body is there to support and help out.”