Having only joined Imbuko-Giant just ahead of the 2019 season, Marco Joubert believes he’ll play a team-support role at the Attakwas Extreme MTB Challenge which starts in Oudtshoorn tomorrow.
Joubert joined Nicol Carstens in the new set-up and said he expects the race to rely largely on team dynamics, despite it being an individual event.
He said he and Carstens would try to support each other whenever the “opportunity arises” in the 121km race that finishes at Great Brak River.
“Wherever we can work together we will,” Joubert told In the Bunch today.
“It’s a long race. The race time is usually between five and five-and-a-half hours so there is definitely room to work together.
“The last 60km will be on a long and flat gravel road, so if we’re still together in a group we’ll definitely play the team card.”
“I think everyone will be playing the team card. It will be an interesting day tomorrow,” he said, adding that German Karl Platt would be another rider to look out for.
He recalled that last year’s race took place in “among the worst conditions” in the event’s history, which “made things harder”.
Despite that Beukes broke the course record, finishing in 4:56:56.
In a similar scenario last year, Joubert had joined forces with Dylan Rebello under the banner of Imbuko-Momsen a month prior to the event.
Rebello and Joubert managed to finish fifth and sixth respectively.
“That was also our first race together and I told him I would ride for him with me being a rookie and him with a few Attakwas events under his belt.
“Last year I also finished with a little bit left in the tank, which was good. It was a great learning curve.”
The Stellenbosch local indicated that he felt more confident heading into this year’s showpiece.
“The build-up to the race has been really good,” Joubert said. “Last year I only started training at the beginning of January, whereas now we have a couple more weeks under our belts.
“Both Nicol’s and my form is definitely better. On paper we should have a good day tomorrow but we’ll see what the race throws at us,” he said, adding that they would be targeting a podium position.