Superstar Stander set for Scottburgh

2012-06-13 00:00

THE Sappi Scottburgh MTB Race received a major boost yesterday, when Olympics-bound mountain biking sensation Burry Stander confirmed he will be on the start line for the popular South Coast event on Saturday morning.

Despite already having one foot on the plane ahead of his all-important MTB World Cup Mont-Sainte-Anne clash in Canada, the Port Shepstone-based cross-country star wasn’t going to miss the rare opportunity

to tackle two consecutive events not far from home.

“I’ll definitely be there on Saturday,” said an enthusiastic Stander. “I’m busy racing

all over the show most of the time, so I

only really get to do two or three races on the South Coast a year, and I’m really looking forward to getting out there this weekend.

“It’s not all that often that I get the opportunity to take part in a race close to home, so it’s really cool that I’ve got the opportunity this year to do two races on back-to-back weekends, with last weekend’s Sardine Classic and now this weekend’s race.”

Having finished 15th at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Stander is set on utilising the experience he gained at his first Games and over the past four years of racing the elite circuit to catapult himself onto the podium at this year’s London Olympics.

“The last few weeks have been my last build-up at home, so it was really great to take a bit of a break and then build things up again before heading off to Canada, which really gets things going for me in preparation for the Olympics,” he said.

“The Olympics has obviously been a long-term goal of mine for quite some time now and we’re getting closer to crunch time, so I’m starting to work really hard on focusing and the little things like getting my diet right, but I’m just glad that it’s nearly here now.

“I’m definitely hoping to get a medal at this year’s Games. Last time, I went over there to enjoy myself and see what it was all about, but for me, the Olympics is all about the medals and that is definitely my goal this time around,” he added.

Despite having his sight firmly set on achieving his dream of stepping up onto the podium at the Olympic Games, the

athlete recently took another bold

step when he entered the world of married life.

Stander and fellow professional cyclist Cherise Taylor tied the knot just a couple of weeks ago, in a hometown ceremony

on Oslo Beach just outside Port Shepstone.

With online entries for this weekend’s event only closing today, Stander, who claimed victory in last weekend’s Sardine Classic, is unsure who will be alongside him on the start line.

“I have no idea who will be there this weekend, but I fly out to the World Cup on Sunday, so for me it’s a great opportunity to work on some last-minute fine tuning, and it’s really cool to be able to ride to the event and then get some really good, hard training in and ride at home again,” said Stander.

The event starts and finishes at

Scottburgh main beach, and riders can take part in either the 45-kilometre classic,

28-kilometre intermediate or the 10-kilometre fun ride. More information, go to www.c4m.co.za or www.roag.co.za

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