Stander wins Under 23 title Down Under

French, Swiss can't follow speedy South African

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Burry Stander (South Africa) successfully took his first title in the Under 23 men's cross country on Friday at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Canberra, Australia. Alexis Vuillermoz (France) took second at 1:21, with Switzerland's Thomas Litscher winning the bronze medal, 2:46 down. The top North American was US rider Robbie Squire in 32nd, 11:25 behind Stander.

"Yeah, the couple of days leading up to the race was pretty nerve wracking, and today I was just focused on the start," said Stander. "I knew it would play a vital part of the race. Unfortunately, we had a really strong headwind so it wasn't possible to try to take the lead from the beginning. You had to try to take your chances in the group, and then wait just before the singletrack to make your move."

"Fortunately for me, things worked out, and I got into the trail second, and from there the race went perfect," he said. "I just tried to keep it smooth, and my full suspension just worked great out there. The course was getting tougher and tougher, and really bumpy, and to me, it went perfect and I am really, really happy."

The six-lap race saw Litscher attack strongly in the first lap, with Stander glued to his wheel. A chase group of six formed 25 seconds behind, including Mattias Wengelin (Sweden), Marek Konwa (Poland), Vuillermoz, Peter Sagan, Mathias Flückiger (Switzerland) and Catriel Andres Soto (Argentina).

"[The overnight rain] made the course quite a bit better I think, the course was getting really loose out there and for the first couple of laps, it was really compacted and fast, and towards the end it started getting pretty loose and ridden out again,” said Stander. I think the rain did it a bit of good.

"My biggest fear was the start, but they [the Swiss] controlled the race from the beginning after the first straight and they got the first guy into the singletrack and I almost let another guy go in front of me, and I only just managed to get past the second Swiss guy going into the trail and from there it was perfect," he said. "On the singletrack there is not much you can do as a team. On the switchback climb we set such a quick pace that it immediately opened up to the next group."

Then Stander opened it up on the Cardiac Arrest climb, and that was it ... the rest of the race was for second as the number two rider in the overall World Cup standings steadily increased his lead through the remainder of the race.

Vuillermoz overtook a fading Litscher in the third lap, with Sagan and Konwa chasing for third. As the race continued, the front three continued to distance themselves from the chasers, with Sagan and Konwa managing to hold on for fourth and fifth respectively.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Burry Stander (South Africa)1:47:26 
2Alexis Vuillermoz (France)0:01:21 
3Thomas Litscher (Switzerland)0:02:46 
4Peter Sagan (Slovakia)0:04:15 
5Marek Konwa (Poland)0:04:45 
6Guillaume Vinit (France)0:04:59 
7Mattias Wengelin (Sweden)0:05:14 
8Fabian Giger (Switzerland)0:05:32 
9Lukas Kaufmann (Switzerland)0:05:57 
10Catriel Andres Soto (Argentina)0:06:31 
11Lachlan Norris (Australia)0:07:33 
12Anders Hovdenes (Norway)0:07:54 
13Tom Meeusen (Belgium)0:08:11 
14Mathias Flückiger (Switzerland)0:08:15 
15Henk Jaap Moorlag (Netherlands)0:08:28 
16Paul Van Der Ploeg (Australia)0:08:31 
17Sepp Freiburghaus (Switzerland)0:08:57 
18Markus Bauer (Germany)0:09:01 
19Cal Britten (Australia)0:09:03 
20Dario Alejandro Gasco (Argentina)0:09:05 
21Simon Scheiber (Austria)0:09:16 
22Irjan Luttenberg (Netherlands)0:09:36 
23Johannes Schweiggl (Italy)0:09:42 
24Robert Gehbauer (Austria)0:09:50 
25Marco Minnaard (Netherlands)0:09:54 
26Piotr Brzozka (Poland)0:10:08 
27Luka Mezgec (Slovenia)0:10:19 
28Sebastien Carabin (Belgium)0:10:30 
29David Fletcher (Great Britain)0:10:46 
30Niels Wubben (Netherlands)0:11:01 
31Sergey Nikolaev (Russian Federation)0:11:19 
32Robbie Squire (United States Of America)0:11:25 
33Marcel Fleschhut (Germany)0:11:36 
34Charlton Durie (Australia)0:11:37 
35Lukas Sablik (Czech Republic)0:11:46 
36Tad Elliott (United States Of America)0:11:47 
37Pascal Meyer (Switzerland)0:12:45 
38Raphael Gagne (Canada)0:12:55 
39Erik Groen (Netherlands)0:13:01 
40Cristian Cominelli (Italy)0:13:19 
41Fabian Strecker (Germany)0:13:22 
42Evgeniy Nikolaev (Russian Federation)0:14:16 
43Roman Orlov (Russian Federation)0:14:31 
One lap behind
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
44Manfred Reis (Germany)  
45Sebastian Szraucner (Germany)  
46Carl Jones (New-Zealand)  
47Colin Cares (United States Of America)  
48Nathan Haas (Australia)  
49Vasilis Adamou (Cyprus)  
50Tim Wynants (Belgium)  
51Ashley Hough (New-Zealand)  
52Seiya Hirano (Japan)  
Two laps behind
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
53Scott Green (New-Zealand)  
54Yu Takenouchi (Japan)  
55Keisuke Goda (Japan)  
Three laps behind
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
56Scott Thwaites (Great Britain)  
DNFMartin Fanger (Switzerland)  
DNFDries Govaerts (Belgium)  
DNFDaniel Vivanco (Chile)  
DNFAndy Eyring (Germany)  
DNFSherman Paiva (Brazil)  
DNFConnor Mcconvey (Ireland)  
DNSHenrique Avancini (Brazil)  
DNSShlomi Haimy (Israel)  
DNSMartin Loo (Estonia)  
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