Alan Hatherly secured the elite men’s cross-country title at the SA MTB Championships at Mankele Bike Park in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, today.
After building a 14-second gap over Buys on lap two, the Spur rider from Cape Town kept his rhythm to increase his gap over the remaining laps.
Hatherly said the race started with a quick pace and he knew Buys and Beukes were going to try and let the odds work in their favour.
“My plan was to go hard from the start and pretty much take control of the race to at least half-way and then see how everyone else was doing.”
This victory had been a goal for Hatherly from the beginning of the year and he claimed that the win did not come easy.
“I had a bit of a flu bug after I flew back from Europe two weeks ago, which forced me into a race block.
“Fortunately, what played in my favour was that I had a really good week getting the form back up again and it played out obviously really well today.”
The championships continue with the downhill competition tomorrow.