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Stander wins Under 23 title Down Under

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Burry Stander (South Africa) wins his first Under 23 world championship title.

Burry Stander (South Africa) wins his first Under 23 world championship title. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Under 23 men's cross country worlds podium: Alexis Vuillermoz (France), Burry Stander (South Africa), Thomas Litscher (Switzerland)

Under 23 men's cross country worlds podium: Alexis Vuillermoz (France), Burry Stander (South Africa), Thomas Litscher (Switzerland) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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The start of the Under 23 men's race

The start of the Under 23 men's race (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Thomas Litscher and Burry Stander got away quickly.

Thomas Litscher and Burry Stander got away quickly. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Mattias Wengelin (25) and Mathias Flückiger (4) lead the early chase group.

Mattias Wengelin (25) and Mathias Flückiger (4) lead the early chase group. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Marco Minnaard (Netherlands)

Marco Minnaard (Netherlands) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Robbie Squire (USA)

Robbie Squire (USA) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Burry Stander (South Africa) opens it up on the Cardiac Arrest climb, and that was it...

Burry Stander (South Africa) opens it up on the Cardiac Arrest climb, and that was it... (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Alexis Vuillermoz (France) was in a race for second with Thomas Litscher.

Alexis Vuillermoz (France) was in a race for second with Thomas Litscher. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Thomas Litscher (Switzerland) battles it out with Alexis Vuillermoz (France).

Thomas Litscher (Switzerland) battles it out with Alexis Vuillermoz (France). (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Marek Konwa (Poland) was fifth.

Marek Konwa (Poland) was fifth. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Robbie Squire (USA) was top North American.

Robbie Squire (USA) was top North American. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Colin Cares (USA)

Colin Cares (USA) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Catriel Andres Soto (Argentina)

Catriel Andres Soto (Argentina) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Lukas Kaufmann (Switzerland)

Lukas Kaufmann (Switzerland) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Markus Bauer (Germany)

Markus Bauer (Germany) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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David Fletcher (Great Britain)

David Fletcher (Great Britain) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Connor McConvey (Ireland) looks scared.

Connor McConvey (Ireland) looks scared. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Connor McConvey (Ireland)went down hard.

Connor McConvey (Ireland)went down hard. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Burry Stander (South Africa) was the pre-race favourite and he did not disappoint.

Burry Stander (South Africa) was the pre-race favourite and he did not disappoint. (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Thomas Litscher (Switzerland)

Thomas Litscher (Switzerland) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Alexis Vuillermoz (France)

Alexis Vuillermoz (France) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Thomas Litscher (Switzerland)

Thomas Litscher (Switzerland) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

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) Team
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) Team
53Scott Green (New-Zealand)
54Yu Takenouchi (Japan)
55Keisuke Goda (Japan)

Three laps behind
#Rider Name (Country) Team
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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