Alan Hatherly waves a South African flag as he comes to the line alone to win his first ever World Cup XCO at Les Gets, France.

Alan Hatherly rides to maiden victory at Les Gets World Cup

Cannondale rider claims first-ever World Cup XCO win after winning the XCC on Friday.

Ryan Simonovich
by Ryan Simonovich 07.07.2024 Photography by
Piper Albrecht
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Alan Hatherly (Cannondale Factory Racing) has been Mr. Consistent for a number of years, standing on the podium behind the likes of riders such Nino Schurter and Tom Pidcock. The South African finally found his form this weekend in Les Gets, winning his first-ever World Cup XCO race to cap off the weekend that started with a win in the XCC. 

Simon Andreassen gained the holeshot, followed closely by his Cannondale teammates Hatherly and Charlie Aldridge. Midway through the first lap, Italian national champion Luca Braidot (Santa Cruz-Rock Shox) wrestled the lead into his own hands, gaining 5s as the riders all tried to find their rhythm. 

During the second lap, Hatherly and Mathias Flückiger (Thömus maxon) sought to bridge up to the leader, as Aldridge and Andreassen rounded out the top 5 about 20 seconds off the lead. 

The course dried out some by the time the men’s field toed the line so they did not face the same muddy conditions as the women’s race did, although there were still a selection of slick sections that challenged the riders. 

The chasers caught up to the tricolore-adorned leader, and Canyon’s Luca Schwarzbauer moved into fourth, 29 seconds behind. 

Flückiger – no stranger to technical race tracks – upped the pace during lap three. The Swiss rider was marked by Hatherly and the increased pace dropped Braidot. 

Flückiger continuously opened small gaps on Hatherly, but the South African kept coming back to his wheel. About 40 seconds behind, Alpecin-Deceuninck’s Sam Gaze overtook Schwarzbauer into fourth position. 

Hatherly went to work opening a gap on Flückiger during lap four of eight, gaining 13 seconds as he pursued what could become his first-ever World Cup XCO victory. The Cannondale rider won Friday’s XCC race, writing on social media that his form felt good. 

Braidot crashed on a rooty downhill, allowing the chase group to catch him and reset the race for third position. That group consisted of Gaze, Andreassen and Simone Avondetto. 

Hatherly eventually extended his lead to more than a minute back to Flückiger, and the chasers were another minute back from there. 

Inside two laps to go, Gaze attacked into third place and put some distance into the others in the small chase group. Braidot bridged up to Gaze during the final lap and they were joined by Andreassen. Gaze crashed, allowing Braidot and Andreassen to regain ground. 

Hatherly grabbed the South African flag as he approached the line, waving it in the air moments before he became the first African man to win an XCO World Cup since the late Burry Stander more than a decade ago. 

Flückiger rolled in 1:30 later, and Andreassen outsprinted Braidot for the third step on the podium. 

Brief Analysis 


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