One of the top cross-country racers in the world, Burry Stander was killed on Thursday, Jan 3 after getting hit by a car during a training ride. The 25-year old Stander from South Africa, who competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, was returning from a training ride in Shelly Beach, on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, and was hit by a vehicle,” said Cycling SA spokeswoman Mylene Loumeau.
Recently, in 2012, he finished fifth at the London Olympic Games and won the Windham World Cup. He showed incredible promise as he excelled in climbing, descending and grueling endurance races like the Cape Epic.
Check out this nice tribute video done by the Red Bull crew:
In 2012, he was also married to pro cyclist Cherise Stander, who recently switched from the road to mountain bike racing.
“We are truly saddened to have to confirm that Burry Stander has passed away following an accident involving a vehicle while riding on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast today,” a statement on his official Facebook page said.
Stander, who held the title of UCI Mountain Bike World Cup under-23 men’s cross-country champion in 2009, competed in several races around the world since 2008.
He won the Absa Cape Epic race with team partner Christoph Sauser last year and in 2011, and in 2010 he came third in the Mountain Bike World Championships held in Quebec, Canada.
At the Beijing Games, Stander finished 15th in the cross-country mountain bike race. Last year, he reached fifth place in the same event at the London Games, narrowly missing out on a medal.
Stander is one of the stars of the Specialized Racing Team and this loss is a devastating blow to the sport.
Here’s Burry Stander with the team last year at the Cape Epic stage race.
His posts on Twitter can be found here: https://twitter.com/africanmtbkid
His facebook is here: http://www.facebook.com/Africanmtbkid
A message from Specialized:
It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to our friend and cycling legend Burry, who was tragically snatched away in the prime of his life while training in his home town of Kwazulu-Natal this afternoon.
We have lost not only a friend, colleague and team-mate, but a true sportsman. He will long be remembered for his humility, his prowess and the gentle manner in which he conducted his life!
Our heartfelt sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Cherise, his parents, family and all who were privileged to know this gentle giant.
Life is short, life is sweet but his legend will live on forever…
Sincere condolences to all.
David Hyam and the Specialized S-Racing Team