Hatherly fractured his right wrist when he crashed out of the Tankwa Trek over a month ago and in his first race back on the bike the Team Spur rider returned to winning ways.
“It was great to win in my first race back after the injury,” Hatherly said. “I am really happy with how it went.”
He had a good start in the six-lap race and was the first rider onto the single track, Hatherly said.
“After being first onto the single track I pretty much led from there right until the end. I almost made it hard for myself by going very hard in the first two laps. It worked quite well for me and I am feeling good,” he added.
Hatherly, who was the highest-placed South African rider at the first cross-country event in Coetzenburg in February, is currently in Australia preparing for the Commonwealth Games, which start on Wednesday.
“It was good to use the national [SA MTB Cup Series XCO event] to prepare for the Games [which follow] so shortly thereafter.
“I went into the race a little bit fatigued, but it was good using the event to gain points seeing that it is a UCI category. The main tactic was getting used to cross-country and the speed again after my injury.”
“The competition was not too fierce,” Hatherly said. “I think the Cape Epic would have hurt or taken out the normal competitors.
“In saying that, Arno, Jan, Julian [Jessop] and Wessel [Botha] put up a good fight out there. They were pretty consistent at the end and a good job to them on a good race.”
Throughout the race, Hatherly said, it was important to keep his mind space at a consistent level.
“It was important to stay calm and focused on staying consistent, to monitor my body throughout the race. Nutrition is a very important part of racing at this level.
“It is so easy to crash on the cross-country tracks in Johannesburg, so focus is always important. There were so many loose rocks that can throw you off-line and put you in the danger zone.”
Hatherly will take part in the Commonwealth Games in 10 days and said he was “excited to see how it will play out”.