As reigning champions, Active Bodies will take on the route last. Each team starts their pursuit to beat the clock at three-minute intervals.
“The team’s goal is definitely to win, especially because we came second the last two years,” Carstens told In the Bunch today.
“It’s time to step it up for first place this year. I want to try to help the team as much as possible. We have the riders to do it.”
The 22-year-old, who enjoys both road racing and mountain-biking, said he took “a bit of a break” after the Wines2Whales Shiraz in the Western Cape earlier this month.
“My form isn’t too good at the moment. I only started training again on Monday,” Carstens said.
“But I just want to help the team as much as possible. The 11 other guys are super strong.”
With each team comprising 12 riders, a minimum of six are required to finish the route. The times of the fastest six are then measured to calculate the team’s overall time.
Carstens identified the last part of the route as the most decisive.
“You can make up a lot of time if you pace yourself properly from the last water point [at about 140km] until the finish,” he said.
“Pacing is everything. Our normal team have trained a lot together, but there are also a few outsiders who will be riding for us.”
Dimension Data’s Stefan de Bod and Jacques Janse van Rensburg are among the guest riders. De Bod rode for the DiData Continental team this year and has since signed for the WorldTour set-up for next year.
“There are a few strong guys who will come help out us out who we don’t get to ride with too often.
“It will be nice having them come onboard with all their experience. They race in Europe all year round so they will know everything about pacing and nutrition.”
Unsurprisingly, Carstens identified reigning champions Active Bodies as their biggest threat, saying “they will definitively be strong” despite not knowing for certain who will be in their team.