Former sponsor designs limited bike in honour of legendary Stander

2014-03-26 00:00

SA Olympian and mountain biking legend Burry Stander may be no more but his spirit lives on.

Specialized, Stander’s former sponsors, have designed a bike in honour of the legendary biker who was killed in a road accident when his career was at its peak.

Stander died after he was hit by a minibus taxi while cycling at Shelley Beach on the South Coast last year.

In a YouTube video posted last week, Specialized’s Mountain Bike marketing officer Sam Benedict said they did not plan to do a “Burry Stander limited bike”.

But because of his untimely death they thought it was appropriate to create something to remember him by.

Benedict described Stander as a cyclist who was always fast, passionate about racing and enjoyed competing against the other guys.

“Burry the freakin’ crusher. He just wanted to go out there and race his bike. He wanted to win.”

He said the world champ has always been pushing Specialized to make a bike that was “lower, fast and lighter”.

“He always wanted the ultimate bike.”

The director of Specialized Bicycles Africa, Bobby Behani, said it was a no-brainer to design this customised bike considering what Stander achieved on and off the bike. This was just one way to celebrate the young legend.

Some of the Stander’s accolades include UCI MTB World Cup under-23 men’s cross-country 2009 world champion, twice-winning the Cape Epic in 2012 and 2011, and finishing fifth at the 2012 Olympic Games and many from the cycling fraternity believe that he still had a great future ahead of him.

According to Benedict, Christoph Sauser from Switzerland and František Rabo, a Czech mountain biker, will be riding Stander bikes in the Cape Epic on Sunday.

At the end of the exhausting race the bicycles will be auctioned and proceeds will be donated to the songo.info organisation. They have committed to donate up to R539 008 from the sales.

Stander was a regular at the organisation where he taught youngsters racing techniques.

The organisation’s aim is to uplift the disadvantaged community of Kayamandi.

Editor of TREAD magazine, the country’s only mountain biking magazine, Sean Badenhorst, said the bicycles are currently not available at retail stores in South Africa.

“Only a few in the country will be raced by the Specialized team riders at the ABSA Cape Epic. It’s a limited edition model, so there are only 150 of them in the world,” he told The Witness.

“Many will be bought by collectors that are Burry Stander fans I would think,” he added.

He described Stander as a “gentleman, a superb athlete and a sporting legend” and said South African mountain biking is not the same without him.

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