Cycling

Stander a true gentleman: Sam

2013-01-03 22:03
Burry Stander (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - SASCOC on Thursday mourned the death of the country's leading mountain-biker Burry Stander in a road accident in KwaZulu-Natal.

Stander, 25, was killed in a collision with a taxi while training near his home in Shelly Beach on the South Coast.

He was a two-time Olympian, having competed in Beijing in 2008 and in London last year where he finished a brave fifth in a thrilling race.

"This is indeed terrible news to start 2013 with. Burry was the epitome of an Olympic athlete - talented, ultra-competive but at the same time extremely humble and a true gentleman," the national Olympic governing body's president, Gideon Sam, said.

"SASCOC, the cycling fraternity, and the entire South African sporting community mourns his passing and sends our prayers to his wife and family.

"I'm totally shattered because athletes of Burry's calibre are not easily replaced. It's an enormous loss to the entire cycling family.

"I've said this time and again but it is really time to work even harder at protecting both our runners and cyclists who used the roads daily to do their training."

Stander married fellow 2008 Beiijing Olympian Cherise Stander (nee Taylor) in May last year.

He was a feared rider on the global circuit having won events in all corners of the globe. He was a three-time SA mountain bike champion as well as a winner of the gruelling Cape Epic multi-stage off-road event.

Two years ago in January, another leading South African cyclist, Carla Swart, died when she was hit by a truck while training in the Free State.

HAVE YOUR SAY: What was your best memory of Burry Stander? Also send your condolences to Stander's friends and family to Sport24.

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