An injury that brought a premature end to Burry Stander's debut at the Absa Cape Epic has continued to plague South African cross-country mountain bike champion. Most recently, Stander sat out round four of the Mazda MTN South Africa Cup, held in George last Saturday. The injury is hampering his build-up to the Olympic Games.
The 20-year-old Stander, who races for the Mr Price GT team, has been struggling for the past two weeks to recover from the Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome that forced him to quit the Cape Epic on stage three whilst wearing the leader's jersey.
"It's really been a problem in that I can only ride for an hour and then the pain sets in," explained Stander on Thursday before the race. "It's very frustrating because I have a World Cup race in Belgium next weekend and am not even sure I'll be able to race it."
Stander had intended to start the South Africa Cup race and continue as long as he was pain free. He was also getting bike set-up help from Dr. Jeroen Swart to see if any position fine-tuning might help him.
"As for the weekend's race in George, I decided to just spectate as the leg needs as much rest possible right now. It's not really something I can ride through."
The Iliotibial Band is the longest tendon in the body. It connects the hip to the shin and runs along the outside of the leg. ITB Syndrome is an inflammation of the ITB, with an excruciating, stabbing pain where the tendon crosses the bony protrusion on the outside of the knee each time the knee bends.