Footage on YouTube showing the 17-year-old’s encounter with a buck has recorded more than two million hits since it was uploaded by South Africa Team Jeep manager Max Cluer on Monday afternoon.
Van der Spuy, who rides for the team, escaped serious injury after being upended by a charging red hartebeest during the Time Freight Express Mountain Bike race at Albert Falls Dam outside Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.
Van der Spuy’s team-mate, Travis Walker, had a GoPro camera strapped to his bike and caught the entire incident on film.
“It was being in the right place at the right time and Evan being in the wrong place at the wrong time - one of those moments,” said Walker.
“It was freaky. I saw it coming closer so I braked, [I] thought it would go in between the gap.
“It hit him, lifted him off the ground, [and he] landed in the grass … he started making weird noises and I didn’t know what to do.”
The video has since caught the attention of media giants CNN and ABC News, who have syndicated it to their media platforms.
“I did Skype interviews with them last night [Monday evening]. They aired it this morning and put it on all their networks,” confirmed Cluer, who added that SuperSport will be airing the footage locally.
“I’m not sure if the SABC knows about it, as I haven’t been contacted by them at this stage, but SuperSport knows about it and all the radio stations have picked it up,” said Cluer.
Van der Spuy just laughed off the notion of becoming a YouTube star and being dubbed “Buck Norris” on Twitter. “It’s pretty cool,” he said.
He was in second place and riding at top speed when the antelope - about 1.3 metres tall at the shoulders and estimated to weigh about 150kg - charged straight at him and hurled itself into him.
His helmet imploded and he was knocked unconscious on impact as the red hartebeest crashed into him before getting up and running away.
Van der Spuy has little recollection of the freak occurrence.
“I saw it coming from about 100 metres away … I looked at it and think I pointed at it and from there it was a blur. I just remember lying on the floor when I came to,” Van der Spuy told The Witness.
Walker and another teammate attended to Van der Spuy and phoned an ambulance that took him to Pietermaritzburg Medi-Clinic.
“They took some X-rays and checked if my spine was still fine.
“I had no fractures, just concussion,” said Van der Spuy, who was discharged on Monday morning.
“If it wasn’t for the helmet I don’t know what would have happened.
“It could have been fatal, so it just reaffirms how crucial it is to wear a helmet at all times.”
Van der Spuy’s mother, Tracy, is thankful that her son escaped the incident with his life.
“He’s very lucky to be alive,” she said, adding that she was reluctant to watch the video.
She said, “I was riding the race as well and didn’t know he had an accident until after I had completed the race. My son Elmo had the video in the car on the way to the hospital … I didn’t want to watch it, but I could hear the sound and it was terrible, absolutely dreadful. I couldn’t watch it until I knew that he was alright.”