But she knows it won’t be easy. With a new venue and shorter distance, Keep predicts the racing will be tough and fast-paced.
“Racing in that region [Mpumalanga] isn’t a bad thing either. I still think it could be a really good national championships with some good racing. I’m quite excited for it.
“I think the shorter distance will make the racing faster. It looks like a fast, rolling course with not too many massive climbs, but consistent, shorter ones.
“I’m hoping for positive racing and I’m sure it will be aggressive and fast-paced and quite a spectacle to watch.”
The SA National Road Championships will start at the Swadini Forever Resort tomorrow. Keep will once again be contesting the road race and the time-trail.
The 19-year-old, who has been wearing the SA stripes for the past year, said that while racing in the SA road champs was always tough she felt optimistic about her prospects.
“It’s going to be a tough one. It could potentially be quite warm in that region of Mpumalanga, especially at this time of the year. But that’s something that everyone has to deal with when racing.
“I’m feeling positive and optimistic towards SA champs. It’s always hard racing there.”
Should Keep manage to defend her title she will get to don the SA stripes for another year.
“I never take being able to wear the stripes for granted. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into winning that title and it’s really always special to be able to wear it.
“I’ve come to learn that I really can do all the things I’ve set my mind to and that I can achieve my goals if I really do believe in myself, keep the focus and stay determined.”