The 21-year-old South African, who won the U23 race at the national XCO champs in July, said he felt he had “super good” form at this event and was currently in a very good mental and physical space.
“I’m just going to give it my all and ride the best I can, hopefully placing as high as possible,” said Liebenberg, who represented his country at world champs for the first time as a junior.
“This being my first U23 world champs though, I’m not going into the race with a specific top-10 number [in mind].”
Liebenberg said he looked forward to tackling the course, which he felt suited his strengths as a rider.
“The lines are looking good and it’s a well-balanced course. There is a lot of climbing and it’s quite technical.
“It’s definitely not your average course. Mont-Sainte-Anne is known as one of the most technical courses in the world cup circuit.
“Luckily I love technical riding so it definitely plays in my favour. You do need to know what you’re doing though.”
He said his strategy included going flat out but staying concentrated and not making any mistakes where he could lose time or positions.
“I want to try to stay composed and not overcook it in the beginning, because that can make or break your race. At the same time I’ll need to keep a high pace and not drop back or lose too many positions.”
Liebenberg, who has raced in Europe and America for the past three to four years, said competing against the rest of the world was quite different to how it was back home.
“I have an idea of how the racing is and what to expect, but it’s still a lot different.”
Through the world champs Liebenberg hoped to learn more about himself and about competing against the best of the best.
“I have raced against international guys before, but that was in 2018 and 2017. So compared to then I’m on a different level. I feel way stronger, so I hope to show that form and pull a good result out of the bag.
“I think once the race gets going and I settle into a rhythm then I’ll know where I stand and what I need to do.”
He also hoped to gain good exposure from the event and to get his name out there more.
“Just being here with the national team is a confidence-booster.
“Knowing that you were selected by Cycling SA is already a big achievement. It shows you’re doing something right and that the hard work and sacrifices you had to make were going towards something.”