Fitting tribute to Burry Stander

2013-01-19 00:00

PHILIP Buys paid a fitting tribute to Burry Stander in the way he won the UCI-sanctioned cross-country race at The Cycle Fest in Pietermaritzburg last weekend.

The event was named the Burry Stander Cross-country Memorial in remembrance of Stander.

Following 36 hours of non-stop rain, the Cascades course turned into a treacherous mudbath. Stander usually excelled in such conditions. Like Stander, Buys did not allow himself to be intimidated by the muddy conditions.

He accelerated from the get-go and immediately took the lead. He remained cool and calculated and increased his lead with every pedal stroke. He gave an almost faultless performance of what cross-country racing should be about and won the Burry Stander Memorial Race in a time of one hour, 50 minutes and 18 seconds.

Max Knox (Specialized) surprised by finishing second, a mere 62 seconds adrift. It was only the second time during the past three years that the South African marathon champion competed in a cross-country race. Rourke Croeser (songo 360ne) was third, four minutes and 23 seconds behind Buys.

“It was really special to win a race in which Burry’s memory was honoured. I owed it to him to ride aggressively,” Buys said after the race:

“During the past three years I have been privileged to be involved in some tough skirmishes with Burry. This taught me that the only way to excel in cross-country racing is to go out hard and not allow yourself to be intimidated by the conditions, because there is nothing you can do about it … The other reason why I decided to make the racing hard from the start was because I wanted to intimidate my rivals.

“They should realise that it will take some doing to beat me in one of the local cross-country events.”

When asked about his surprising result in the cross-country race, Knox just laughed.

“I was just out there having fun and to prove to myself that all the training I have been doing over the past few weeks was paying off.”

Knox’s performance was impressive, moving him from fifth to second during the last few laps.

Local riders Brendon Davids and Travis Walker gained some valuable UCI points for the year when they placed fourth and fifth respectively in the Pro-Elite race.

In the women’s UCI Pro-Elite race, it was Mariske Strauss who triumphed in the muddy conditions to take the win in 1:43:53. Local star Ashleigh Parker-Moffatt showed some good form and tenacity to place second (1:44:24) ahead of Samantha Sanders (1:49:53).

Greg Minnaar, UCI Downhill World Champion, was the other hero of The Cycle Fest. He won the 40 km marathon, the Eliminator and the Enduro.

Next up on the MTB calendar is the Subaru MTB Classic, which takes place at Cedara College on Sunday, January 27.

With three distances to choose from, this is a great event for the whole family. For the beginners there is the 10 km MTB fun ride. If you enjoy single track then the 25 km is the event for you. The 45 km event will be fun as usual with a fair mix of single track, jeep track and stunning views. Food and drinks will be on sale at the start/finish area for riders and participants. Pre-entries close at www.roag.co.za on Wednesday.

MULTISPORT

WANT to increase your motivation to get fit and feel the adrenaline-rush that competition brings? Then enter the aQuellé Hermannsburg Mudman at Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg on February 2.

Says Mike Terry, the event organiser: “The spill-over effect will keep you motivated for weeks afterwards and may even spur you on to enter more races of the aQuellé Mudman Series 2013.”

The Hermannsburg Mudman is the first in the Mudman Series, which is one of the more popular triathlon events in KwaZulu-Natal and is open to teams and individuals. Each season the series attracts hundreds of budding triathletes.

A new running and cycling route will be taking athletes through the beautiful Boskom Mondi Forest.

All levels of athletes will enjoy this unique race, set in a scenic environment. Various categories are open that cater for top athletes, weekend sportier and relay teams.

This event consists of a full distance 750 m swim or four kilometre paddle/20 km MTB/ five kilometre trail run, or a half-distance 375 m swim or two kilometre paddle/10 km MTB/ 2,5km trail run.

You can complete as an individual or in a team for either distance event.

For more info, visit www.mudman.co.za or phone 071 4831 707.

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