Commonwealth medalist Hatherly targets 2nd SA title in Bloem

Alan Hatherly during the 2017 MTB XCO SA Cup in Bloemfontein, which he won. PHOTO: LLEWELLYN LLOYD / REBLEX PHOTOGRAPHY

The Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Alan Hatherly, will be in Bloemfontein this week where he will be competing in the 2018 SA MTB XCO Championships at Happy Valley.

The 22-year-old from Cape Town is one of the biggest names out of the some 300-plus riders that will be heading to the City of Roses for the event.

Hatherly shot to fame earlier this year when he clinched the bronze at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia. Last year he finished second in the under 23 UCI MTB World Championships in Cairns, Australia.

Apart from winning the bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Australia, he also claimed a podium in the UCI MTB World Cup, with a bronze in the Czech Republic in May. Early in that month he also won the men’s elite event of the SA MTB XCO Championships in Pietermaritzburg.

Haterly only arrived back in South Africa on Sunday after competing in the UCI MTB World Cup in Andorra.

This week will have his sights set on a second title in Bloemfontein in two years after winning the MTB XCO SA Cup last year in a time of 01:34:45 to beat Jan Withaar and Stuart Marais.

Local fans will without a doubt be following the Bloemfontein teenager, Chanté Olivier, who will be banking on her sublime form in 2018 to claim yet another national title.

In April the 15-year-old claimed third overall during the Proffix Swiss Bike Cup in Rivera-Bironico, Ticino, Switzerland. She followed this up with another bronze a week later during the Internazionali d’Italia 2018 in Italy. Olivier started in 16th and had to work her way through the field.

She managed to briefly take the lead, but was passed by three riders after being caught behind the slower riders.

Apart from her two medals in Europe this season, she also claimed gold at the MTB XCO SA Cup 2nd leg, and dominated the South African National Road Championships in Oudtshoorn.

On Friday an Eliminator event will be taking place, and on Saturday morning the SA MTB XCO Championships at Happy Valley will get underway.

The action starts at 8:00 in the morning with both the sprogs boys and girls.  – MORGAN PIEK