South African and Olympic mountain biker Burry Stander has been killed in a road accident involving a taxi while out on a training ride in Shelly Beach on South Africa’s east coast.
Stander rode to 5th place in last year’s London Olympics having also competed in the previous Beijing Olympics in 2008. he also took 3rd place in the 2010 world champs.
Said the South African National Olympic governing body’s President Gideon Sam: “This is indeed terrible news to start 2013 with. Burry was the epitome of an Olympic athlete – talented, ultra-competitive but at the same time extremely humble and a true gentleman.
“SASCOC, the cycling fraternity, and the entire South African sporting community mourns his passing and sends our prayers to his wife and family.
“I’m totally shattered because athletes of Burry’s calibre are not easily replaced. It’s an enormous loss to the entire cycling family.
“I’ve said this time and again but it is really time to work even harder at protecting both our runners and cyclists who used the roads daily to do their training.”
Stander married fellow Beijing competitor Cherise Stander (nee taylor) earlier last year.