The two-day mountain-bike event at the Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville, Cape Town, will cover stages of 40km and 39.8km on Saturday and Sunday.
The 33-year-old Kachelhoffer won the title with Pieter Seyffert in 2016 and this time he and Louw are focused on a spot in the top three in the fifth edition of the event.
“Etnard is riding at a really decent level and we are good friends,” said Kachelhoffer of his partner in the Storms River Traverse, which they won in 2016.
Even though he has retired from professional racing, the Paarl-based rider said he had always enjoyed the Sanlam MTB race.
“There is always an expectation to achieve something in any race you enter and we are aiming for a podium place this weekend,” said Kachelhoffer.
He added that the race was a special occasion, with plenty of variety in the tracks and “a nice vibe during the weekend”.
“Areas such as Meerendal and Bloemendal do have some big mountains, so there is a good test from that aspect, but there is also plenty of single-track.
“The trails are awesome but fairly challenging and it will mean you have to keep your concentration up.”
Kachelhoffer, who will be riding in the Liberty TransCape from George to Franschhoek next year, said it was a matter of finding a balance over the two stages of the Sanlam MTB, presented by ASG Events.
“You don’t want to expend too much energy on the opening stage and not have anything left for the next day, so that will be part of our strategy.”