Hatherly, Strauss dominate at the spruit

Alan Hatherly and Mariske Strauss both put on commanding performances and dominated their Elite races at the second round of the 2017 SA National MTB Cup Series XCO at the Wolwespruit Bike Park in Tshwane today.

Hatherly (Team Spur) commanded his race over six laps of the short and punchy four-kilometre track in a time of one hour 22 minutes and 54 seconds, winning the Elite Men race by less than a minute over Philip Buys (Team PYGA Eurosteel) in 01:23:38, with Matthys Beukes (Team PYGA Eurosteel) finishing third in 01:25:21.

Speaking about his race, Hatherly said: “When racing at altitude, you always have to play it smart tactically. If you start too hard, you will pay the price at the end.”

Hatherly completed the first lap in Buys’ wake. “I was sussing out the first lap and playing it safe. I felt good, but Phil seemed to play tactically and was trying to get Matthys to link with us. That wouldn't have worked to my favour so I pushed off on the first main climb of the lap and rolled off and settled into my own pace.”

The Rio Olympian’s attack placed a suitable gap between himself and Buys, which he managed to maintain throughout the remaining laps. “I gapped it and kept the pace up, and kept the gap up, attacking every descent and finding the flow. On the whole it was a good race.”

Hatherly’s next race is the third round of the National Cup Series in Bloemfontein on 6 May, before he heads off to the island of Mauritius for the African Continental Championships. Thereafter he returns home briefly before jetting off to Europe on 14 May for the UCI MTB World Cups in the Czech Republic and Germany.

The Elite Women’s race saw a battle for podium positions between Ariane Luthi (Team Spur), Frankie du Toit (Absolute Motion) and Bianca Haw (Red Bull) as race winner Strauss (OMX Pro Team) surged ahead in complete control, posting the fastest laps in each of her five laps and claiming her victory in a time of 01:27:15. Luthi was the second rider home in 01:33:30, with Du Toit rounding out the podium in a time of 01:35:07.

The current National Champion said: “My race went smoothly – I have to admit I was a tiny bit nervous as I wasn’t sure how my legs would perform. My game plan was to gradually open the valves and that seemed to have worked for me.”

Strauss adopted the approach of trying to chase the men’s lap times, in a racing format where every category races on the exact same course (apart from the Nippers and Sprogs on a shortened course). It showed in her lap times, which were in the 17 and even 16 minute bracket.

“I am happy with how it went,” she said. “Now to pack again as I prepare to set off for the Swiss Cup next week.”

The Junior Men raced four laps, with Pieter du Toit claiming victory in a time of 01:00:36. Ryan Conradie and Mulder Oosthuizen’s tight battle ensued until the very end, with the former taking second place in 01:02:43 and Oosthuizen third, five seconds behind.

Fresh from her recent European campaign, Tiffany Keep kept a one-minute buffer between herself and second placed Danielle Strydom to take the victory in the Junior Women’s race in 00:56:35. Azulde Britz rounded out the podium in 01:00:28.

Luke Moir, who has also recently competed in Europe, managed to keep Jamie Penfold at bay to secure his victory in 00:48:54 in the Youth Men’s race, with Penfold taking second place five seconds behind in the three-lap battle. Daniel van der Walt finished in third place, only one second behind Penfold. Also competing over three laps, the Youth Women’s race saw Zandri Strydom take victory in 00:57:24. Christelle Coetzer finished in second place in a time of 01:05:55, while Andrea De Waal finished in third place (01:07:16).

The third round of the 2017 SA National MTB Cup Series XCO takes place in Bloemfontein on Saturday 6 May. For more information about the Series, visit: https://www.cyclingsa.com/2017-sa-mtb-cup-series/.


Summary of Results – SA National XCO Cup Series #2 – Wolwespruit 15 April 2017

Download the full results here: https://www.cyclingsa.com/s/20170415_SA-XCO-Cup-Series-2-2017-Results-1.pdf

Elite Men (6 laps)
1.Alan Hatherly 01:22:54
2.Philip Buys 01:23:38
3.Matthys Beukes 01:25:21
4.Jan Withaar 01:26:32
5.Stuart Marais 01:26:49
6.Arno Du Toit 01:28:19
7.Julian Jessop 01:29:23
8.Dominic Calitz 01:29:35
9.Franco Pelser 01:31:36
10.Tristan De Lange 01:32:27

Elite Women (5 laps)
1.Mariske Strauss 01:27:15
2.Ariane Lüthi 01:33:30
3.Frances Du Toit 01:35:07
4.Bianca Haw 01:37:06
5.Sarah Hill 01:38:25

Junior Men (4 laps)
1.Pieter Du Toit 01:00:36
2.Ryan Conradie 01:02:43
3.Mulder Oosthuizen 01:02:48

Junior Women (3 laps)
1.Tiffany Keep 00:56:35
2.Danielle Strydom 00:57:39
3.Azulde Britz 01:00:28

Youth Men (3 laps)
1.Luke Moir 00:48:54
2.Jamie Penfold 00:48:59
3.Daniel Van Der Walt 00:49:00

Youth Women (3 laps)
1.Zandri Strydom 00:57:24
2.Christelle Coetzer 01:05:55
3.Andrea De Waal 01:07:16

Sub Junior Boys (3 laps)
1.Luca Ruwiel 00:56:16
2.Ben Du Plessis 00:59:00
3.Jordan Bold 00:59:20

Sub Junior Girls (2 laps)
1.Chante Olivier 00:43:34
2.Chloe Bateson 00:46:44

Sprog Boys (4 laps)
1.Alec Coleske 00:27:24
2.Ernest Roets 00:28:03
3.Francois de Jager 00:28:08

Sprog Girls (3 laps)
1.Lilian Baber 00:22:48
2.Olivia Penfold 00:23:59
3.Riley Smith 00:24:37

Nipper Boys (3 laps)
1.Luca Zietsman 00:22:43
2.Logan Stander 00:22:48
3.Jed Bridger 00:23:49

Nipper Girls (2 laps)
1.Hannah Elliot 00:16:56
2.Danel de Jager 00:17:15
3.Megan Botha 00:19:51

Sub Vet Men (4 laps)
1.Armand Du Toit 01:05:59
2.Matthys Koekemoer 01:06:46
3.Petrus Malherbe 01:09:14

Sub Vet Women (3 laps)
1.Theresa Ralph 01:01:23

Veteran Men (4 laps)
1.Mark Moir 01:13:11
2.Rynard Van Hoven 01:14:11
3.Xavier Berteau 01:21:51

Master Men (3 laps)
1.Colin Gibbings 01:06:18
2.Marc Ruwiel 01:07:54
3.Daniel Marneweck 01:15:44