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Stander wins South African cross country title

Burry Stander won his ninth consecutive South African cross country title in Stellenbosch on Saturday.

Burry Stander won his ninth consecutive South African cross country title in Stellenbosch on Saturday. (Image credit: Fresh Media Solutions)

Burry Stander (Specialized USN) showed why he's one of the world's best mountain bike racers when he cruised to a perfectly executed and dominant victory at the 2011 South African cross country championships in Stellenbosch on Saturday.

The 23-year-old KwaZulu-Natalian, a strong medal hopeful for the London Olympic Games, took the lead on the second lap on a moderately technical course to eventually win by more than five minutes. Matthys Beukes (Scott) earned second place with Namibian champion, Marc Bassingthwaighte (Garmin adidas) claiming third place.

In the women's race, Beijing Olympian, Yolande Speedy (MTN Qhubeka) captured the victory ahead of teammate Mariske Strauss, who won the under 23 gold medal. Rourke Croeser (Cannondale) won the under 23 men's title.

Stander and Philip Buys (Garmin adidas) completed the first of seven laps with a lead over the rest of the field, but on lap 2, Stander upped the intensity and dropped Buys. Stander then gradually built up his lead as he cruised to his sixth senior South African title and his ninth overall (three junior, four under 23 and two elite).

Buys held onto second place throughout most of the race, but on the penultimate lap he snapped his chain and dropped out of medal contention. That cleared the way for Beukes, who had been closing in on Buys, to secure the silver medal.

Although Bassingthwaighte finished third, the bronze medal went to Ben Melt Swanepoel (Specialized) who was the fourth elite rider home, but the third South African across the line.

"I only really pushed hard on the second lap to get away from Philip, and then I picked it up again on the last lap, the rest of the time I kept it steady," said Stander afterwards. "Many think the course wasn't that technical, but the tight off-camber turns with loose surfaces over the hardpack certainly weren't easy to negotiate. There were plenty of crashes here.

"I'm obviously happy to win another South African title. It's an honour to race in the national champion's jersey when I race abroad. I'm also very pleased with my performance today," said Stander, who chose to race a 29-inch-wheeled hardtail bike.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Burry Stander (RSA)1:44:25
2Matthys Beukes (RSA)0:05:51
3Marc Bassingthwaighte (Nam)0:08:34
4Ben Melt Swanepoel (RSA)0:11:30
5Philip Buys (RSA)0:12:03
6Renay Groustra (RSA)0:12:33
7Francois Theron (RSA)0:13:07
8Oliver Munnik (RSA)0:14:28
9Nico Pfitzenmaier (Ger)0:18:16
10Christopher Wolhuter (RSA)

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Yolande Speedy (RSA)1:32:04
2Luthi Ariane (Swi)0:05:39
3Samantha Sanders (RSA)0:07:55
4Yolandi Du Toit (RSA)0:09:51
5Amy-Jane Mundy (RSA)0:18:21
6Tamryn Taylor (RSA)0:23:05
7Claudia Von Tutschek (RSA)

Under 23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rourke Croeser (RSA)1:37:40
2Dominic Calitz (RSA)0:00:14
3Christiaan Kriek (RSA)0:01:02
4Adriaan Louw (RSA)0:01:12
5Ruan Du Toit (RSA)0:01:14

Under 23 women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mariske Strauss (RSA)1:31:19
2Candice Neethling (RSA)0:06:56
3Caitlin De Wet (RSA)0:09:45
4Bianca Grotepass (RSA)0:22:39
5Cherie Vale (RSA)0:23:07

Junior men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Roberts (RSA)1:23:03
2Gert Heyns (RSA)0:01:01
3Dylan Hattingh (RSA)0:02:34

Junior women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ashleigh Parker (RSA)1:01:40
2Linda Van Wyk (RSA)0:04:13
3Savanna Vosloo (RSA)0:05:09


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