- Alan Hatherly is one of four pro mountain bikers that form
Cannondale’s 2021 elite team.
- The South African will be riding for one of mountain biking’s most established pro teams.
- He will be on the Cannondale Scalpel, with its unique front suspension design.
South Africa’s best cross-country mountain biker has been signed by one of the world’s most formidable professional teams.
Cannondale is renowned for its iconic Lefty suspension design, a distinguishing feature of the Scalpel mountain bike range. The team’s depth of talent is inarguably impressive with Avancini the world’s highest-ranked cross-country mountain biker and Fumic always podium contender.
Hatherly is a former u/23 cross-country mountain bike world champion and has also managed to secure 2019 e-bike world championship.
Cape Town a happy outing for Cannondale’s pros
Fellow new Cannondale signing, Simon Andreassen, has cyclocross and cross-country world championships to his credit, in the u/23 categories. During the heavily disrupted 2020 World Cup season, the Dane also managed an overall elite category win, at the first round in the Czech Republic.
As with many professional mountain bikers, the Cannondale Factory Racing team requires no convincing to spend late December and most of January in South Africa. Especially, Cape Town.
With very low traffic volumes, the team managed to safely combine long road rides with the renowned mountain bike trails that now make Cape Town one of the world’s most desirable overall cycling destinations.
What are Alan Hatherly’s prospects for the 2021 racing season? There is no question that the Tokyo Olympics will present a significant opportunity for him. He raced the 2016 Olympics at a very tender age, finishing 26th.
Having made dramatic progress in the five years since his Olympic debut, Hatherly is now an established elite level mountain biker and the 24-year old will be confident of achieving a good result in Tokyo.
The Scalpel is a precision machine
What about the bike Alan is riding this season? That would be the latest Cannondale Scalpel, redesigned last year. True to its billing as a premium elite level racing bike, the Scalpel features end-to-end carbon-fibre construction.
The rear triangle is a single unitary carbon-fibre structure, without additional pivots and bearings. Not only does this design save some weight, it also reduced the burden of bearing replacement maintenance, something noteworthy in the local mountain biking environment, which can be dusty and abrasive.
And that single-sided front fork? It is the latest iteration of Cannondale’s signature Lefty design, which first debuted back in 2000.
The eight-generation Lefty Ocho on Alan’s Cannondale Scalpel has a single crown, making it look even slicker and more minimalist.
Without the dual-sided lower structure of a conventional suspension fork, the Lefty Ocho allows direct access to the wheel. This enables the convenience of a rapid tyre replacement, without having to remove the wheel.