Hatherly was coming from a sixth place finish at the opening world cup event, which took place in the Czech Republic the previous weekend, but an early crash put paid to the 20-year-old’s goal of achieving a top five finish.
Hatherly got himself into a good position at the start of the German circuit and had a 15 second gap over the rest of the field during the first half of the first lap before disaster struck.
“My race went wrong on a narrow left hand bend before a drop halfway down the main descent.
“The lead motorbike had raced down in front of and in that corner a whole lot of big rocks had been dragged into the race line.
“I didn’t have much of a choice when I realised this, so I went off course briefly.
Upon re-entering, marking tape became wrapped up in his rear wheel and heat from the brake disc melted it, causing him to lose his rear brake.
Unaware of this, he continued his attack and worked his way back to the front of the group as they tackled the second climb.
It was only on the descent, when he tried to slow for a corner, that he realised he was without his brake.
“Unable to slow myself down I carried too much speed into the corner and my front wheel washed out, causing me to crash hard on my chest in the rocks.”
Team mechanic, JP Jacobs, was on hand to swap Hatherly’s rear wheel but the incident cost him almost two minutes and the U23 African continental champion had to work hard to finish 34th.
Although little had gone according to plan, Hatherly said his experiences in Europe had served to bolster his confidence.
“This past block of racing has been my first few races in Europe and I didn’t really know what to expect or how far my preparations were going to take me.
“Achieving 6th place in Nove Mesto, and only being 30 seconds off of a podium finish, really opened my eyes to the international level that I’m capable of,” he said.
Team Spur’s assistant manager, Tim Bassingthwaite, said he had been impressed with Hatherly’s form against international competition.
“The jump from local racing to international competition is huge.
“The increased size of the competition field and the strength of the riders means you’re riding flat out for an hour and a half.
“This not only improves your riding ability but forces you to cut every corner perfectly and pick the best line because you can’t afford to slip up or lose concentration.
“Achieving a 6th place finish at the first World Cup is a great achievement and a sign of what he is capable of in the upcoming world cup races.”
Hatherly has returned to South Africa and will compete at the fourth and final round of the SA National MTB Cup Series XCO on June 17 before returning to Europe for the Andorra and Lenzerheide world cup events.