The South African Demacon rider, who beat fellow teammates Kim le Court and Heidi Dalton into second and third respectively last year, feels winning a second time is always more difficult than the first.
“I’m approaching it very carefully and with an open mind. I’m hoping to go into the race once again with some good teamwork,” said Oberholzer.
“I’ll just read the race and the conditions on the day and hopefully make the right moves at the right time.”
The 31-year-old will line up for the 106km race, which starts at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall, alongside Le Court and Dalton, as well as guest rider Azulde Britz from Positive Sports Solutions.
“Kim is our sprinter, so if it comes down to a sprint she will be our go-to girl. Heidi is absolutely phenomenal on flats, in the wind and in the lead-out, so she has a crucial role to play.
“Azulde is the youngster in the team, but extremely willing to learn. She will generally just be there for anything we might need,” said Oberholzer.
She added that the strategy that had worked for them this year was to race well together and communicate constantly amongst each other and with management.
“We’ll go out and see who does and doesn’t want to race and take it from there. We don’t normally go in with one fixed plan as we usually have one or two, but we’re pretty good at adapting on the road.”
Oberholzer said she learnt from last year’s race that anything could happen on this specific route.
“It was quite unexpected to win last year. There were riders with us up front who I didn’t think were going to be there and ones who dropped [back] early on who I thought would be there closer towards the finish. You should be ready for anything in this race.”
She identified three key elements on the route, with the first being the opening climb of the day.
“I don’t necessarily think that that is where the race will be won, but I do think you can lose it there.
“The second part is about half-way through where there are one or two climbs. Then the highway section can be quite challenging, depending on what the wind does.
“Climbing wise I should be okay and in the wind I have a pretty strong team so I’m hoping to overcome the obstacles by good teamwork,” said Oberholzer.
They had approached this season a bit differently in a bid to iron out some errors the team made last year, she said.
“It’s very difficult to compare the form directly. I think I’m pretty decent, but we’ll have to see how it goes,” said Oberholzer, who recently placed second at the Bestmed Satellite Classic.
“I’m hoping to be a little more rested than what I was for Satellite. I would’ve loved to have won, but sometimes your plans just don’t work out exactly the way you hope they will.”
Oberholzer added that she went into the race quite hard, after a training block and an indoor trainer.
“I have a bit more road time in the legs this coming weekend, so I’m hoping for another good result.”