Hatherly beats looming Karkloof MTB Festival entry deadline

With mountain bikers throughout KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and beyond scrambling to get their 2015 Sappi Karkloof MTB Festival entries in ahead of the 24h00, 3 May normal entries deadline, exciting young rider Alan Hatherly has ensured his name is on the start list well ahead of the looming cut-off.
The talented first year Under-23 Kargo Pro MTB competitor is set to bring some fine form into this year’s 60km Sappi Karkloof Marathon – the feature race of the three day festival that takes place at the Karkloof Country Club from 8-10 May – after he clinched victory in the third leg of the Stihl SA MTB Cup Series at Mankele MTB Park in Mpumalanga recently.

2014AlanHatherlyKargoHS.jpgKargo Pro MTB's Alan Hatherly ensured he beat the 2015 Sappi Karkloof MTB Festival's 24h00, 3 May normal entry cut-off and is looking forward to challenging for the 60km Sappi Karkloof Marathon's overall spoils on Sunday 10 May. // Kyle Gilham/ Gameplan Media.
Young Hatherly will however have to overcome his Karkloof demons if he is to fulfil his goal of clinching this year’s overall spoils having battled somewhat at the popular event previously.

“For whatever reason I’ve always struggled a bit at Karkloof before with my best result there only being a tenth,” said Hatherly. “I’m really looking forward to this year’s race though!”

“I’ve been going quite nicely recently and I always look to try keep things as consistent as possible so hopefully luck will be on my side at Karkloof this year and I can look to try keep our Kargo team on the top step of the podium for the second year in a row.”

Despite his maiden pro elite national cross country victory over the weekend, Hatherly’s lack of UCI points in his new age group saw him miss out on selection for the South African team to head to the Africa Continental Championships in Rwanda over the same weekend.

While naturally disappointed to miss out on the international event, Hatherly is looking forward to rechanneling his energies towards a positive Karkloof performance.

“It obviously would have been great to go to African Champs but things didn’t quite work out there for me this year.

“The plan had been for me to peak at African Champs though so the timing of Karkloof is really good!

“The Karkloof MTB Festival is also always such an awesome event that is so well supported by the mountain biking community and is known for some of the best trails in the country so I’m sure it will be another great event this weekend.”

The Kargo rider is also looking forward to the first unveiling of an accolade he acquired at the end of last year’s Quattro ROAG Series.

“Having won my category of last year’s ROAG Series I was given a black winner’s number board with my name on.

“Having not ridden at any of the ROAG Series races this year I haven’t actually been able to use it yet so it’s a bonus that Karkloof is part of the ROAG Series and I’m really looking forward to putting that on my bike for the first time at Karkloof!” said Hatherly.

Sunday 10 May’s 60km Sappi Karkloof Marathon, 40km aQuellé Half Marathon, 20km aQuellé Family Ride and 10km aQuellé Kids Ride action is preceded by Friday’s 20km Karkloof Night Race and Saturday’s Stihl Karkloof Enduro, making for a thrilling weekend’s cycling adventure for the whole family.

Riders and spectators can follow news and developments via the event’s Facebook page (Karkloof Mountain Bike Club) or on Twitter (@KarkloofMTB) while more information can also be found at www.karkloofmtb.co.za and entries can be submitted via www.roag.co.za.