“If I manage to win, I will definitely be the happiest ‘chappie’ in the world,” Luus said.

Luus has already done an exploratory ride on the Nissan TrailSeeker van Gaalen course which begins and ends at the Van Gaalen Cheese farm, just outside Skeerpoort.

“I could not ride the entire route, because it is partly on private farms, but I found the bits that I could ride very exciting. I absolutely loved the technical single-track sections and the climbs because that is what suits my style of riding,” Luus said.

Waylon Woolcock, Neil MacDonald (both RE:CM) as well as Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Adrien Niyonshuti (MTN-Qhubeka) are in all likelihood the riders who will do their utmost to spoil the fun for Luus.

If Woolcock and MacDonald should achieve good results, it would definitely improve their chances of winning the series overall. Woolcock is the defending champion.

Luus, who has achieved some impressive results during the past few weeks, is currently one of the most consistent riders.

A definite highlight for him was when he won the Three Towers Mountain Bike Tour with James Reid (Nedbank360Life) as his partner.

At the MTN Hilton Dirt Fest marathon he came second behind Reid, and he was second in the MTN Gravel Travel (outside Wellington) as well.

During the past weekend he was 7th in the MTN Ride Crater Cruise ultra-marathon (106km) in and around Parys.

Normally Luus is not one to look for excuses, but he cannot help wondering what would have happened if the gear cable on his mountain bike did not come loose during the MTN Ride Crater Cruise. This meant that, for about 90 kilometres, he could only use four of his gears.

“When we reached the King of the Mountain prime, I had to get off my bike and run to the top. I was also handicapped in the final sprint to the line. I was immediately behind James (Reid) when he started to accelerate but, when I tried to follow him, my gears slipped again so that I was unable to contest the sprint.

“That’s mountain biking. Sometimes luck is on your side, but sometimes it’s not.

In spite of his problems, Luus finished just 37 seconds behind the winner, Kevin Evans (Nedbank360Life).

According to Luus, the best decision he ever made was to get Deon Carstens (from Middelburg) to coach him during 2012.

“I know now that my worst mistake was over-training. Deon made me realize that to spend more hours on your mountain bike is not necessarily better. I am training much less now, but with a higher intensity, and I consider my rest days to be part of my training programme.”

For more information about the upcoming races please visit www.advendurance.com