McDougall, who rides for dormakaba SA, was originally selected to represent South Africa at the UCI Mountain Bike World Marathon Championships which took place in Italy on Saturday.
However, she had to give the world champs a miss due to illness and chose to take part in the 60km Fedhealth event as a form-tester.
“I’ve been struggling a bit with form because of my health,” McDougall told In the Bunch today.
“I needed to go out and work on my intensity and I wanted to enjoy the trails.
“I went out just to do my personal best; I wasn’t really racing to win.
“There wasn’t much competition, but the win was a bonus.”
She was getting back on track again, McDougall added. “My numbers are improving and that was good to see.
“I’m definitely on the up again which I was glad about. It was important for me to focus on myself [instead of going to world champs].
“I’m definitely starting to feel better,” she added.
McDougall led the race from the outset and won comfortably, beating Marleen Lourens by just over seven minutes.
The 29-year-old said she had recently moved to Cape Town from Johannesburg, so she wasn’t too well acquainted with the Western Cape trails.
“Between Jo’burg and Cape Town there’s almost no comparison,” she said. “The route was really hard, but also spectacular. I was super impressed.
“The climbs were pretty tough and the trails were sublime. I was blown away.”
McDougall and her teammate Samantha Sanders will next turn their attention to a few stage races.
“Like I said, my form is coming along and Samantha is strong. We ride super well together as a team. I’m feeling confident [for the rest of the season].”