South Africa’s wait for a world championships mountain bike medal in the elite men’s division continues after Alan Hatherly finished 47th in the 2020 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Leogang, Austria.
France’s Jordan Sarrou won by 45 seconds from Swiss rider Mathias Flückiger who repeated his second place finish from 2019. Third went to another Frenchman, Titouan Carod, 10 seconds further back.
Reigning Olympic champion Nino Schurter, bidding for his sixth consecutive XCO world title, was off the pace early and eventually finished ninth in windy conditions on a heavy, muddy course.
In the women’s XCO, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot proved that she is the best mountain bike cross-country rider on the planet, successfully defending her cross-country title for a golden double for France.
Eva Lechner claimed second in a thrilling photo-finish with Rebecca McConnell from Australia, 3:01 behind the winner.
The 24-year-old Hatherly had decided during the week to skip defending his title at the eBike World Championship race due to a stomach bug but on a steep, old-fashioned course he was unable to make an impression and crossed the finish line 8min 50sec behind Sarrou.
Hatherly won the Under-23 title at the 2018 UCI Mountain Bike Championships and also the inaugural e-MTB Cross-Country race at the world champs in Canada last year.
The last South African to win a medal at the senior event was the late Burry Stander in 2010. Stander also won the Under-23 world title in 2009.
In the women’s race the leading South African was Cherie Redecker, which finished 30th, a lap behind Ferrand-Prevot. Candice Lill finished 37th while Mariske Strauss crossed the line in 48th position.
In the men’s under-23 race on Friday, Daniel van der Walt finished 58th, a lap behind Britain’s Thomas Pidcock.