Burry Stander settles accounts with arch-rival Kevin Evans

2011-03-26 00:00

KZN’s world-class mountain biker, Burry Stander (Specialized), outsprinted arch rival Kevin Evans (360Life) to win the SA Marathon Championships over 80 km in a time of three hours 25 minutes and 20 seconds.

With a gutsy ride Philip Buys (Garmin-adidas) ensured that the bronze medal remained his to keep. Stander vs Evans has been the norm for the past four years, with Evans taking the win in 2008 and Stander in 2009 with Evans finishing second. Last year Evans won, while Stander came second. Last weekend at Inanda Dam — in the challenging terrain of the Valley of a Thousand Hills — Stander kept his cool when it mattered most and won his second SA Marathon title in three years.

By securing this title, Stander joined the elite group of South African mountain bikers who managed twice to win the marathon and cross-country titles in the same calendar year. He made the coveted double gold his by winning the SA pro-elite cross-country title recently in Stellenbosch.

Catherine Williamson (Bizhub) won the women’s marathon, Karien van Jaarsveld (USN) finished second and Cherise Taylor (USN) third. In view of Williams being a British rider, Van Jaarsveld is the South African champion.

The 45 km Marathon Championships for the younger categories saw KZN rider Luke Roberts take the win in the Junior Men, with Brendon Davids finishing third despite some mechanical setbacks. Ashleigh Parker-Moffatt is rapidly making a name for herself, taking her second national title in recent weeks as she won the Junior Women’s title. Heidi Dalton placed third overall while winning the Youth Women’s category.

O’Keeffe ready for UCI BMX Supercross

Kloof BMX flyer Teagan O’Keeffe is all set to return home from her training base in Aigle, Switzerland, shortly to carry the hopes of her nation at the UCI BMX Supercross in Pietermaritzburg on April 8 and 9.

With South Africa’s greatest title hope, Sfiso Nhlapo, ruled out of the competition due to a knee injury, as the only other local rider to have medalled at last year’s UCI BMX World Champs O’Keeffe can anticipate massive expectations from her many local fans at the opening leg of the 2011 World Cup circuit. “I am super excited to race in Pietermaritzburg again. The energy you get from your home crowd can’t be put into words. You are just given such an adrenaline rush from hearing them scream for you,” she said.

“I am primarily training for the Olympics at the moment and I’ve been doing a lot of base training recently, so we’ll have to see just how fast I’ll be, but it will all count in terms of race experience in the long run.”

O’Keeffe has spent the past six weeks at the World Cycling Centre, Switzerland, as part of her pathway towards achieving her Olympic dream, but there was just no way she was about to miss the opportunity to perform on an international stage in front of her home crowd for the second time in just eight months. She has had to step up another gear as she enters the tough open Elite Women senior category.

“The plan is that by 2016 I will be at my peak so that is definitely my goal and focus at this stage but I’m very excited to be racing on home soil again.”

MULTISPORT

Cordwalles Preparatory School will be hosting their eighth aQuelle Cordwalles Mudman at Midmar Dam (Orient Park) tomorrow morning. With a field of over 1 300 athletes and their families and friends expected to participate, entrants are encouraged to arrive early. The course will be similar to last year’s, offering wide-open track, with the highlight being the exciting 120 m Moffatt Optical floating bridge.

This event caters for all abilities with the option of either the full- distance course (750 m swim / four kilometre paddle, 20 km MTB and five kilometre run) starting at 8.30 am or the half-distance event (375 m swim/ two kilometre paddle, 10 km MTB and 2,5 km trail run) starting at 9.45. The Mudman can be done as a team or an individual. The ever popular McDonalds Mudskipper events will give children an introduction to the Mudman in a secure, fun environment. Mudskippers are split into four age groups and the racing starts at 11 am.

 

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