After a return to South Africa in late May to do duty as ambassador to the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League Ariane Lüthi headed back to Switzerland to continue her winning ways.
Ariane spent a week at altitude above the Swiss village of Evolène as part of her training programme, preparing for the UCI Marathon World Championships in September. The goal was to understand how her body will adapt to the lack of oxygen. The answer was apparent when Ariane tested her legs at the Raid Evolenard on Sunday, 10 June. Despite the relatively short 62km marathon distance, organisers squeezed 2660m of climbing into the route. Ariane put on a powerful performance to take the win on tired legs. She’s up again at the Malemedy Marathon in Belgium on 24 June.
Alan Hatherly returned to a wet and miserable Cape Town on 1 June after a successful Europe block chasing UCI World Cup glory. He dived straight back into local racing scene with a last-minute decision to race the SRAM Western Province XCO Series Championship at Bloemendal outside Durbanville, near Cape Town. Although the focus was race-specific training, Alan couldn’t help but style up the fun course and put on a show alongside good friend and training partner Matt Beers. After a two-way battle all race Alan took a close sprint victory over Matt.
A sodden Spur Schools Mountain Bike League event in Somerset West was Team Spur’s next outing. Despite truly inhospitable wet and freezing conditions the first round of the Western Cape Spur Schools League provided a record number of entrants lining up for the mudfest and racing was fast and furious throughout the age categories. The excitement and passion of riders, coaches, teachers and parents at the Spur League events is mind-blowing.
Over the past weekend Alan and Team Spur headed to Nelspruit for the final round of the South African XCO Cup Series. The fourth event at Mankele Bike Park took Elite riders through seven laps of a rocky and rooty course. With his next two UCI World Cup races in July just around the corner, Alan used the race as a simulation effort for pace. As each lap passed, Alan extended his gap over other riders to finish ahead of Stuart Marais and Wessel Botha, in second and third, respectively.
With his win Alan claimed the overall SA XCO Cup Series title and goes into the South African National XCO Championships on 22 July as the country’s highest-ranked rider. It’s an incredible result, when considering that Alan broke both wrists in February. Our technology partner, RSAWEB and Specialized‘s videographer Etienne Schoeman put together a mid-season wrap to celebrate the roller coaster to date.
Source: Team Spur