With BCX having folded at the end of the 2018 season, Chris Jooste is rejoining Luso AC/DC for the Mpumalanga Tour, which starts on Friday.
Jooste will link up with his former team as he prepares for his stint in Europe at the end of February.
His contract with the European team has not been finalised yet, so Jooste says he is unable to disclose any more information at this stage.
However, before he departs for Europe he hopes to make his mark with his local team. And his focus will be on the seven-stage Mpumalanga Tour and then the national road champs in early February.
“This year I’m on a different level of form; I picked up a lot of strength from last season,” Jooste told In the Bunch today.
“I will be going into the tour this year not riding for the general classification, unlike last year. I will be racing for stage wins.
“I want to be an opportunist. If the GC comes my way then I’ll try my best, but I will start the tour with an open mind.”
The 23-year-old said his visa permitted him to race in Europe for three months.
If this stint was successful he would like to extend it and “hopefully” spend the whole middle part of the season abroad.
“I hope to stay there as long as possible to prove myself for a possible permanent contract in the future.
“I feel I’m good enough to race in Europe so if I can show what I can do by around September then I’ll be very happy,” he said of his ambitions for the season.
He expects Beneke to spearhead the team and ride for the GC.
“Calvin is in some good form and he can always pull the cat out of the bag.
“But we will look into it if it goes our way; we won’t force anything into any direction.”
Learning from last year, Jooste said execution was vital.
“It will be important to take your chances when they’re on offer. I will try to ride more maturely this year in an attempt to think about the whole week [of racing].”
ProTouch, who last year achieved Continental status, would pose the biggest threat, Jooste added.
The race starts in the Blyde River Canyon on Friday and finishes at Loskopdam on the seventh day.