The 23-year-old completed a three-month racing stint in Europe earlier this year, riding for the Portuguese team JV Perfis-Gondomar Cultural from March.
He had a bit of a break from cycling after returning to South Africa before focusing his attention on racing here in the spring.
“My training has been good but it’s always a guessing game after not racing full-on for quite some time,” Jooste said.
“I’m not 100% sure it will all work out, but mentally I feel refreshed and ready.”
For the first time ever the organisers are hosting two Mpumalanga Tours in one year.
Jooste won stage six and placed ninth overall in the last edition, which took place in January and consisted of seven stages.
“I was not at my best as I went into the race focusing on other events. But prior to that I’ve been third and have won the white jersey and a few stages a couple of times.”
He felt that with three stages removed from the event this time round there would be more aggressive racing.
“Especially [influential will be] cutting out the long stage from Badplaas to Loskop, which many guys used to hold back a lot for.
“This will make for a lot more aggression in the first couple of days. It will also be much more exciting.
“It’s still a very hard race. The roads are very unforgiving in this area. One lapse of concentration and you can lose everything.”
The Luso AC/DC rider added that with the harder and flatter stages being left out he believed it suited him better.
“It definitely lends itself to my strengths. Four days with more than an average amount of climbing will definitely be good for me.”
He believed it important to win or be good when it came to difficult races. One should not just use them as preparation for other events.
“It’s essential to do well, as it sets you up mentally. It gives you a good morale [boost] if you can do well in harder races, especially ones that are situated at the beginning of a block of racing.”