On top of that it was also a somewhat emotional moment for Beers as Knysna is his home town.
“It was a great race to win and because it took place in my home town it meant a lot to me,” a delighted Beers told In the Bunch today.
“The last time I won there [in Knysna] was at the Karoo to Coast [in 2015] and yet I always go back for the Knysna Cycle Tour.
“I love racing there. It’s a special place to me and it’s really cool I got to do this race. The prize money was obviously very attractive, so I’m very glad to have decided to do it at the last minute.”
From the outset, the NAD Pro rider identified the short prologue as being a decisive factor in determining the outcome of the four-day race.
“Both Alan [Hatherly] and I pre-rode the prologue route together and I knew that was going to be the only place where we’d get real time on anyone.
“It was quite technical and had fast, open roads which suited me. So the plan was to get time there and hopefully on the other days as well. But I knew it would be hard because the stages are quite short.”
That worked out for Beers as he won the prologue and held an 18-second lead over Hatherly.
HB Kruger also put in a strong showing against Beers and Hatherly by winning stages two and three. However, he unfortunately suffered a crash in the prologue which essentially put paid to his chances.
“We got a bit of gap on him after the first day, but then the racing between Alan and I became pretty tight,” Beers said.
“We’re really good friends so it was actually fun racing against each other again.
“But the big prize purse definitely made the racing a lot more interesting and you’re willing to do things that you maybe wouldn’t do otherwise.
“The solo aspect was also quite cool. It made the racing dynamic quite different.”
The 25-year-old and the rest of the field were also spoilt with almost perfect weather conditions and “great” trails, which Beers said he knew very well.
“I’ve ridden on pretty much all those routes before so I had a bit of home-town advantage, knowing almost every track and climb very well.
“The conditions were awesome – no wind or rain – so we got super spoilt this year. Normally it can get quite muddy out there.”
He added that it was a great test of the riders’ abilities to have two stages finishing atop the Simola hill.
“It makes for some really great racing and tests your tactical abilities and how well you can pace yourself.”
“This was a great confidence-booster and all the races I’ve done have been good.
“Getting another one in the bank and winning the first mountain-bike race for the team was cool. It’s good to know that all your hard work has been paying off.”