Online entries for the first round of the Stihl 2016 SA MTB Cup Series XCO close at midnight tonight, (Tuesday 26 January) ahead of this weekend’s event at Mankele MTB Park in Mpumalanga on Saturday 30 January. With most of the series’ events boasting UCI Category 1 status, each race holds great opportunity in boosting UCI points and rankings – vital for the Elite riders in this Olympic year.
Overall Stihl 2015 SA MTB Cup Series XCO winner, Alan Hatherly has a steady head and big dreams as the 2016 season gets underway. “I would say after having quite a successful 2015 season learning the ins and outs of racing both nationally and internationally, I learnt a massive amount on where I need to be performance wise,” he said.
The Kargo Pro MTB team rider has sweet memories attached to the venue of the opening round of the 2016 series; the same venue where he won his first leg last year, which contributed to his overall title later on: “I'm really excited that Mankele is hosting the first round of the national series. I had a really good one there last year and the course definitely suits me, which adds to the excitement for the event. It's going to be a great opener allowing us to see where the form is early in the season.”
20-year-old Hatherly mentioned that he has managed to tick all the correct boxes in order to get himself as race-ready as possible when he compares his form to previous seasons.
“I'm heading to Nelspruit feeling pretty confident, also knowing what to expect this year,” he added.
Winning the overall SA XCO cup series last year was described as a cherry on the cake for the young Elite. “It’s on the top of my goal list to repeat in my 2016 season,” Hatherly concluded.
The event, which is open to all age categories, will also see the Juniors competing as part of their UCI Junior World Series. This gets them a chance to earn better seedings for the 2016 UCI MTB World Championships in Nove Mesto na Morave (CZE) from 28 June to 3 July. This Junior World Series race is one of three being held in South Africa.
Online pre-entries are open, and close on at midnight tonight 26 January. Click here to enter: https://entries.cyclingsa.com/events/3321-sa-cup-series-xco-1. Late entries will be accepted at registration, with a nominal charge of R50 in addition to the entry fee.
For event information, please visit http://www.cyclingsa.com/2016-sa-mtb-cup-series/, or contact Mark Meyer on 078 801 0453 (for event info); or Dellah Paul on 082 781 5656 (for administration info).