Alan Hatherly’s third place in Austria, is another highlight in what has become a dream season for the Cannondale Factory rider. (Photo: @mmondini_photo)
- In Austria, muddy trails challenged the world’s best
mountain bikers, during this weekend’s double-header round of UCI World Cup
- Many downhill racers suffered crashes during Saturday’s
race. Greg Minnaar looked strong, but broke the tape, negatively influencing
- In the XC race, a terrific performance saw Alan Hatherly
assert himself as one of the world’s best sprint mountain bikers.
Weather can be unpredictable when the world’s best mountain
bikers journey to Alpine venues. The Austrian Alps have been good to South African
riders, and this weekend was no different.
Leogang has been a happy trail venue for Greg Minnaar. The
Pietermaritzburg rider has achieved notable performances on the Austrian track,
such as winning the 2012 World Championships.
Kade Edwards performs at UCI DH World Cup in Leogang, Austria, on Saturday. Riders had to navigate treacherously muddy conditions. (Bartek Wolinski/Red Bull Content Pool)
Not an easy weekend for Minnaar
Minnaar was on an excellent race run before things went
awry. The muddy conditions triggered an uncharacteristic mistake from the
winningest downhill mountain biker in history, placing him 43rd.
Minnaar broke through the course tape, after losing control,
which meant he had to reenter at the same place. Costing him valuable seconds.
A disappointing weekend in Austria has Minnaar in 13th place
overall, after three rounds of the UCI World Cup season.
Despite placing 17th in the XC short course event on Saturday,
KZN’s Alan Hatherly showed great skill on Leogang’s muddy track, during Sunday’s
Hatherly rode his Cannondale Scalpel with great confidence and skill, despite the muddy and steep trails, in Leogang. (Photo: @mmondini_photo)
Swiss-Swiss-South African finish
Measuring 3.7km a lap, with 221m of climbing, the Leogang XC
track featured an abundance of muddy roots, testing technical bike handling skills.
Known as an excellent rider on steep and technical descents, Hatherly was
confident of a strong result in Austria.
During Sunday’s race, Hatherly remained with the lead men’s
group throughout all six laps. Switzerland’s Mathias Flückiger took the win,
followed in second by fellow Swiss, Nino Schurter.
Third place went to Hatherly. A terrific achievement for the
young South African, who is having a dream season.
Although Hatherly might have missed the Cape Epic, but his performances during
this season’s UCI World Cup events have been inspired. It is shaping as a breakthrough
season for the Cannondale rider.
Onto Switzerland, next
The next round of UCI World Cup mountain bike events are scheduled
for 8-10 July, in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. This is another venue where Greg
Minnaar has been successful, winning the Lenzerheide UCI downhill World Cup in
Hatherly has been edging closer to that inevitable first XC
World Cup win, all season, and in Lenzerheide, he will be a strong contender
for overall honours.