It was recently announced that local XCO hero Alan Hatherly would be joining the Cannondale Factory Racing team as the next step in his professional racing career. He spent 4 years racing with Specialized MTB and has achieved some incredible and memorable results with the team including the u23 World Champs XCO title in 2018 and the E-MTB World Champs title in 2019As well as, more recently, strong finishing positions at the World Cup Cross Country rounds in Nova Mesto in 2020. If you can't recall, Alan placed 6th in both the short track and XCO races at the first round and went on to podium in 5th place at the 2nd round of XCO a few days later! These performances certainly attracted attention and he now finds himself sitting alongside legendary CFR riders Henrique Avancini and Manuel Fumic as well as previous Specialized teammate Simon Andreassen who earned himself a World Cup win in 2020!
"2020 proved to be a memorable season for the riders of Cannondale Factory Racing – including the two new faces on the squad. World #1 Henrique Avancini and veteran teammate Manuel Fumic are joined by former junior XC and CX World Champion Simon Andreassen of Denmark and former U23 and ebike World Champion Alan Hatherly of South Africa. Both riders achieved breakout results last season with Simon winning his first Elite XCO World Cup and Alan landing his first Elite XCO World Cup podium. After two weeks together for a small team camp, the groundwork has been laid, the normal CFR shenanigans had, and the bonds forged for 2021. Bring on the races." - Cannondale Factory Racing
Going into an Olympic year, we are very excited to see Alan looking strong on the bike and fired up to be racing! A top performance at the Olympics would certainly look good on the CV for him and make a lot of proud South Africans very stoked!
A team change and different bike, which for Alan and the team will be the new 2021 Scalpel, could go two ways for a rider. If they struggle to find their groove and integrate well, that could be detrimental to their racing performance. On the other hand, a change of scenery and fresh energy and ideas could be just what they need to take things up a level. Here is what Alan has to say about the switch to CFR.
“This is really a dream come true to be wearing the Cannondale colors for the upcoming season and beyond. Excitement levels are high for this new journey alongside powerhouse teammates! I can’t wait for the season to commence and to get racing on the new machine with some big goals in place for the 2021 season. I’m confident that I’m going to level up and learn in this space which is also really exciting.”
It certainly sounds like the switch is going well for Alan. He looked very at home during the team training camp in December! Having seasoned riders like Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini in the team provides a great learning opportunity for Andreassen and Hatherly. Avancini is very positive about Simon and Alan joining the team and looks forward to watching them grow as athletes. Here are some of his thoughts on the new additions.
“It’s great to see young guys with so much talent and willing to work hard toward their goals. With their talent and the Cannondale Factory Racing way of working, they going to have the tools to become important and significant athletes for our sport. CFR has developed a great working method and I believe Alan and Simon are going to have the best environment for their development. They both know what it takes to win. They both showed how fast they can go. Now it’s about learning how to be consistent and built a solid career. They add a lot of freshness and I truly believe they going to find the finest expertise on how to get the work done. CFR future looks great.”
Dan Hespeler is the team manager for for CFR. He has expressed his excitement to have two strong young guns joining the already very successful team.
“Having Alan and Simon on board for 2021 and beyond, alongside World #1 Henrique Avancini, and Manuel Fumic was the next logical step for CFR. Simon and Alan are 2 of the most promising up and coming riders from the U23 and already delivered Elite World Cup podium performances in 2020. Every single rider on the team has been a World Champion in their careers already. We expect some great
things from this new team composition and the fun and laughs we had at team camp are a good indicator to be on the right track.”
With the Corona Virus pandemic still putting pressure on the racing calendar for 2021, we are waiting tentatively to see how the new team will perform on the world stage! We look forward to seeing the words of Jonathan Geran (Cannondale Global Director of Sports Marketing) becoming solidified in the 2021 season.
“Building a team that is competing with the best in the world takes talent, hard work and dedication to the craft. CFR embodies every element to compete, and alongside the proven success of our returning riders both Alan and Simon raise the bar once more for the team.”
See you at the races!