Hendricks recently signed for the ProTouch Continental team, making the move from the German-based Bike Aid. He debuted for the team at the Herald Cycle Tour last weekend.
His former team had financial difficulties after losing a sponsor which meant there was uncertainty surrounding Hendricks’s future within the set-up.
Now part of a team that aims to see South Africa become the top-ranked nation in Africa, Hendricks is all set to compete in the five-day race.
But from what he’s learnt in the past, he expected the challenge this year to be substantially different.
“The routes are a bit easier this year so I think that will make it a little more open for any rider to win it, although the last stage up to the Taal Monument will still be difficult,” Hendricks told In the Bunch today.
“The team-trial will also bring a bit more diversity into the race, where you kind of have to depend on the strength of the full team and not on one good individual time-triallist.
“I think it will be very tricky in terms of the shorter stages as well, so it should be totally different from the previous years.”
The 27-year-old felt the rider with the most diverse skills set would take the overall spoils. As a result there was no clear general classification favourite.
“It will pose a different challenge. A more all-round guy can take it. That’s how it’s opened up.”
Hendricks just missed the podium in his debut race for ProTouch and as a specialist sprinter he said he and Reynard Butler would target the flatter sprint stages in the Cape Winelands tour.
“The tour is a UCI race this year so we’ll look to get maximum points wherever we can,” he said.
“We will try to go for stages. Reynard had light injuries he sustained in Gabon [at the Tropicale Amissa Bongo], but he’s recovered well and we’ll work together.
“Then we’ll see if there are opportunities to go for the general classification. We want to take our chances wherever we can.”
He added that he and Butler would discuss between themselves who would pursue the sprints on any given day depending on who had the “best legs” at that point in the race.
The Paarl local said he had put in the hard yards, despite not having raced for a while, and was happy with his current form.
“I’m pretty happy with where I’m at – my condition and form – and I feel I can contribute towards the team’s goals.”
He identified TEG Procycling as strong contenders at the tour in the form of Gustav Basson and Kent Main, with Ryan Harris being the card they’ll play in the sprints.