Nico Bell and Matt Beers will be looking to extend NAD Pro’s run of successes this season when they line up for the Berg and Bush in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend.
Buys said yesterday that he and Beukes felt confident of retaining their Berg and Bush title, but Bell has other ideas.
“The goal is always to win,” Bell told In the Bunch today. “Sometimes it goes your way and you manage to win, but other times it doesn’t.
“We at least have less pressure on ourselves knowing we beat them [Buys and Beukes] at the 3 Towers.
“We are both confident, and that always counts a lot,” he added.
Bell felt winning the 3 Towers last weekend would give them a psychological advantage.
“Winning increases confidence, so it definitely plays a role. I was also not at my best and it will be good to see how I go this weekend.”
Reflecting on last year’s race, Bell said he knew more or less what to expect.
“The route is quite fast and has a long first stage. I’m good on any route and Matt is really strong, so I will just have to try to sit on his wheel.
“Last year we lost time when Gawie got a flat tyre. This year we will be running on stronger tyres.
“It will be important not to suffer any mechanicals. There are a lot of cattle tracks, so you can easily take a corner wrong or make a mistake and puncture, especially with all the thorns.”
Like PYGA Euro Steel, Bell said he was grateful their set-up was sending two teams to take part.
“It’s nice to have a back-up team but you first have to win the race by gaining time and that only happens if you’re stronger than the other teams,” he said.
“A back-up gives you peace of mind, but they have to be close enough [to you] to make a difference and with Gawie and Wessel we have that.
“It also adds extra value for our sponsors if we’re able to get two teams on the podium like we did at 3 Towers, while we all also get the opportunity to race.”
Bell said he expected most of the competition to be strong and that racing would depend largely on the various teams’ respective placing and climbing strength.