Following a third place finish with Andrea de Boer at the 2018 KAP sani2c, South Coast star Hayley Smith will team up with Disree Verwey in 2019 as they gun for a podium finish at the iconic three-day shootout from the Southern Drakensberg to the South Coast from Thursday to Saturday.
The final day of the race takes riders from Jolivet Farm in Highflats to the Scottburgh Main Beach with trails that Smith is familiar with having grown up in Uvongo. She has relocated to Durban but she remains familiar with the trails.
“I don’t get down there are often as I would like anymore but I have been riding on those trails for many years,” the Bell Equipment rider said.
“I probably head down there every few months which is nice as I get a feel for the conditions and trails again.”
Verwey is based in Richards Bay which means that the pair aren’t able to put in the training that they would like together but Smith isn’t too concerned by this.
“I ride a lot against Desiree and we rode the iSimangaliso race together a few years ago so we are familiar with each other’s strengths.
“I think that we are a well-matched pair so we don’t necessarily need to be training together all the time. We are just looking forward to racing together for the Bell Equipment team,” she added.
It has been a busy start to the year for the 24 year-old who has hit the ground running in the first four months of 2019. With a solid training block behind her, she is looking forward to another crack at the sani2c.
She recently rode to a second place finish at the Kamberg Classic
“The training and racing have gone well this year so far and I have been in good shape.
“I have come down with a bit of a cold which means I might miss out on the aQuellé Tour Durban this weekend but other than that I have been in good health.”
It’s going to be another interesting year for the ladies race with 2018 champions, Team Dormakaba’s Sam Sanders and Amy-Beth McDougall expected back on the start line. Smith knows that they will be the duo to beat.
“I know that they (Team Dormakaba) didn’t have a great Epic but they are strong riders and will definitely be the favourites again this year.
“We will go into the race ready to give it our all and we hope that we can get ourselves onto the podium when we reach the sea!” she said positively.