Rio Olympics mountain biker Alan Hatherly has been snapped up by a leading South African outfit.
Team Spur, South Africa’s most progressive mountain bike team, has added Hatherly, to its line-up for 2017. The 20-year-old finished a respectable 26th at the Olympic Games, confirming a bright future as a cross-country (XCO) racer.
With Team Spur’s backing, the reigning Under-23 African XCO champion will continue to focus on the XCO discipline in 2017, with a number of high profile European races on his schedule, including selected World Cups.
‘It’s a fantastic opportunity to be racing for Team Spur next year. The people involved are very athlete-focussed and the results they achieved this year are testament to that, with James [Reid] winning SA Champs and qualifying for the Olympics and Ariane [Kleinhans, now Lüthi] winning the Swiss Champs, getting into XCO and winning the Cape Epic,’ said Hatherly.
‘My short term goals are to win SA Champs and finish top five at World Champs in 2017, but my longer term goal is getting a medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. Team Spur are fully behind me and have ensured I get to do to a lot of European-based racing next year,’ added Hatherly, who recently moved from his home province of KwaZulu-Natal to Cape Town.
‘We are very excited to be working closely with Alan next season. He is a fierce young talent who will make a fantastic ambassador to the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League,’ said Nic Lamond, Team Spur Director.
‘No doubt he will grow under the guidance of Ariane Lüthi and with our expert staff in full support. With Spur and Specialized, we look forward to exposing Alan to a level of professionalism and world-class competition he has yet to experience,’ added Lamond.
‘I’m excited to start working with Alan. I think he has amazing talent – what it takes to become a very special athlete. He has already been to the Olympics so I can’t wait to see what he will do in another four years after more training and experience,’ said Lüthi.
‘I have travelled with Alan in Europe before and know how professional his approach is. I’m excited to be part of his journey on Team Spur,’ added Lüthi.
Current South African XCO champion, Reid will not be racing with the team in 2017. He has chosen to take a break from full-time racing to focus on his studies.
The full-time team 2017 line up is: Ariane Lüthi (rider), Alan Hatherly (rider), JP Jacobs (mechanic), Tim Bassingthwaighte (manager), Nic Lamond (director).
Main picture courtesy of Andrew McFadden