South Africa’s best XCO MTB pro now ranked fourth in the world

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Alan Hatherly is flying the South African flag proudly, during UCI World Cup events. At the front of the field. (Fabio Piva/Red Bull Content Pool)
Alan Hatherly is flying the South African flag proudly, during UCI World Cup events. At the front of the field. (Fabio Piva/Red Bull Content Pool)

When Alan Hatherly signed with the Cannondale Factory team last year, expectations were high.

The 2018 XCO junior World Champion is South Africa’s most promising and capable sprint mountain biker, since the late Burry Stander.

Although Hatherly’s Cape Epic plans were scuttled by a teammate falling ill, the KZN rider is having a dream UCI World Cup season.

Campaigning against the world’s best XCO riders, on increasingly technical trails, Hatherly has proved himself one of the best elite mountain bikers. XCO mountain biking is brutal. There are no free meters. Riders sprint on level sections, redline their heart rate on steep climbs, and pulse adrenalin on technical descents.

Alan Hatherly
Hatherly’s speed, confidence and control on fast descents, are helping him stay at the front, on technically challenging tracks. (Photo: Fabio Piva/Red Bull Content Pool)

Technical fortitude and fitness

Fitness and power will always be the foundational elements for any world-class XCO rider. But the UCI World Cup tracks are changing, a great deal. Event organisers and trail builders are adding more drops, rock gardens and jumps, testing technical bike handling skills.

Hatherly’s confidence on large drop-offs and rolling through the most technical rock gardens at speed, is becoming a more apparent advantage on these new-generation UCI World Cup tracks. And the results are obvious.

Alan Hatherly
Hatherly powering towards a third place at the fourth UCI World Cup event, in Austria. (Photo: Fabio Piva/Red Bull Content Pool)

A first win can't be far off

With four of the season’s nine UCI World Cup events completed, Hatherly is ranked as the world’s fourth best XCO mountain biker. It's a significant achievement, considering the men’s elite rider list categorises down to 99th position.

The UCI World Cup’s fifth event is scheduled for 8-10 July, in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. On a technical track, the expectations for another Hatherly third place, or even better, are high.

 

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