Although he is only a first-year under-23 rider, the 19-year-old will be taking on the country’s best in the elite category, which will assist him in his Olympic bid.
“The South African champs is definitely a priority race for me,” said Hatherly.
The Kargo Pro rider, who has been in great form during the UCI World Cup season, hopes that he will be in top shape for the event.
“My training programme has been worked around peaking this weekend in Stellenbosch.” he explained.
Not having ridden in Stellenbosch in a long time, Hatherly has been preparing himself by watching pre-race footage and will have time on the course for additional preparation.
He said the racing would be tough as all the riders were out to claim the 110 valuable UCI points for the win and many had similar Olympic ambitions.
Hatherly achieved his best result this season with a 17th place overall in a World Cup race in Switzerland, where he was also the first under-19 rider across the line.
The presence of teammate Brendon Davids in the race could aid his assault on the national title.
The Stihl SA MTB Championships comprises both cross-country (XCO) and downhill (DHI) events.
For more news and results go to SA National MTB Championships (XCO & DHI).