The 37-year-old’s focus last year was on sani2c and therefore she only competed in this event as training.
“This year, although I’m still doing sani2c in two weeks’ time, my focus is on the road,” she said.
“The level of women’s cycling this year has improved and the racing has been more aggressive than last year, and I want to encourage that.”
The Sandton City/Cycle Nation rider added that their goal as a team was to try to win this weekend’s 100km race.
“I don’t have specific goals for myself because this is not my type of race.
“If it was a hilly race then the pressure would be on me, but this race is flat. That means the time-trial specialists or sprinters will be stronger.”
She said the course itself did not present many challenges. The main objective would be to ensure the right people were in the right moves.
“I remember the sprint being a bit tricky, with some other riders [from other groups] in the way which I had to dodge, so I hope this is not an issue this year.”
Van de Winkel, who won the road race at the Gauteng Provincial Road Champs earlier this year, said her team had been working better this year, which was evident from the results they had achieved.
“Our season has been great and we’ve had several wins and podiums in every race this year.
“Personally, I’ve been a bit frustrated with my sprinting and not being able to finish off a race, but I have learnt to rely on my teammates more.
“Unfortunately Zanri [Rossouw] is still injured from African Champs and Juanita [Venter] will also not be racing [this weekend], so we’ll be a small team.”