The pair had never competed together previously however their joBerg2c success suggests they will be serious challengers for this year’s women’s title come the popular three-day clash in mid-May.
“We confirmed our partnership for both joBerg2c and sani2c at the Cape Epic earlier this year. Luckily Catherine was available to help us and its actually gone so well so far that I think I may even ask her if we can ride together for the rest of the races as well!” laughs De Villiers.
“We opted to do joBerg2c in preparation for sani as we’ve actually never ridden together before so we knew we were probably going to go through a bit of a learning curve together during joBerg but it was a really good few days on the bike for us.
“joBerg2c also gave us a good chance to have a look at the trails ahead of sani2c so it was really good preparation in that sense as well.”
Many would expect a few teething issues with a new partnership however the pair have competed in a various stages races previously and their wealth of experience saw them hit it off from the get go.
“At the end of the day even though you’re racing with someone else, you’ve both got to get yourself to the finish line, however you do that,” explains Williamson. “You just have to do so with the other person in mind as well.”
“You’ve got to learn what each other’s strengths and weaknesses are and then you play to that. If you are able to do that well then you’ll probably come in in as shorter time as you’re capable of and I think that’s something we’ve done quite well already.
“It’s all about working with your partner, knowing when to push yourself over the limit and when then to sit back and relax a bit,” she adds.
De Villiers echoes Williamson’s sentiments. “Catherine is a very good rider and a great team mate both on and off the bike! We’ve really clicked as a team very well so far.
“Catherine is really funny and constantly joking and I really enjoy her humour.”
While aware of the needed shift in style from the nine day long joBerg2c to the snappy racing style of the Nedbank sani2c, both riders are confident they can make the necessary adjustment and are looking forward to a stiff challenge in the women’s tussle this year.
“sani2c is just so quick! Sometimes if you’ve got joBerg2c in your legs then you can fell a little slow off the mark at sani so that’s obviously something we’ll look to make sure we avoid,” says Williamson.
“I’m sure there will be some really strong women’s teams on the line with us. Ariane (Kleinhans) and Cherise (Stander) as well as Jennie (Stenerhag) and Robyn (de Groot) will definitely be a couple of really tough team but that’s exactly what we’re hoping for!” adds De Villiers.
The 11th edition of the Nedbank sani2c's gets underway when the Trail event takes place from 12-14 May 2015. The Adventure then unfolds from 13-15 May before the cream of the the country's top mountain bikers do battle during the Race from 14-16 May. More information can be found at www.sani2c.co.za.