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Tributes pour in for Stander

04 January 2013, 11:16

Cape Town - Tributes have poured in from around the world following the tragic death of South African star cyclist, Burry Stander.

Stander was killed after being hit by a taxi near Shelly Beach on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast while out training for this year's Absa Cape Epic.

According to reports, Stander was hit outside his father's shop and died at the scene. He was 25.

Stander finished fifth in the men's cross country race at the 2012 London Olympics, and was a two-time winner of the Absa Cape Epic alongside his Swiss partner, Christoph Sauser.

Stander married compatriot and elite road cyclist Cherise Taylor in May last year.

Tributes poured in as news spread of his tragic death.

"This is the saddest news I've received since I began my involvement in South African cycling 10 years ago. Burry was our brightest star," said Cape Epic founder Kevin Vermaak.

A clearly distraught Sauser posted on Twitter: "Never felt so empty since my dad passed away when I was a kid. @africanmtbkid I will never forget you."

Fierce rival of Stander's on the SA mountain biking scene, Kevin Evans, wrote on Twitter: Take nothing for granted. Ever. Condolences to the Stander family.

I'm still struggling to deal with the news of Burry Stander's passing today. An absolute legend ..., wrote former Springbok skipper, John Smit, while fellow former Bok captain and entrant in this year's Cape Epic, Corne Krige, posted: Tragic news of Burri Standers passing. Shocking news to start 2013. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Aww guys this is awful!tragic news!MountainBike Champ Burry Stander got hit by Taxi while training!Speechless really,Gone too soon!, posted former Springbok wing - and Cape Epic competitor - Breyton Paulse, while Springbok lock legend Victor Matfield echoed what many South Africans felt in the aftermath of the news: Shocking news about Burry Stander's tragic death. Time to stand up for cyclists rights on the roads.

Stormers flyhalf Peter Grant added: Terrible news to hear of Burry Standers passing. Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.

Retired Proteas wicketkeeper, Mark Boucher, posted: Kak day! Bad news about a special person in my life,then about a SA sports hero,Burry! Thoughts go out to the families concerned!So sorry!

Terribly tragic news of the death of Olympian cyclist & KZN SCoaster Burry Stander RIP, posted former Proteas spinner, Pat Symcox.

Leader of the DA, Helen Zille, also posted her condolences on Twitter, writing: Such a tragedy. The cycling legend Burry Stander died today after being hit by a vehicle. Tragedy.

Fellow SA road cyclists Daryl Impey and Robbie Hunter both expressed their shock when writing, respectively: Rest in Peace Burry Stander - a true legend on and off the bike. Thoughts and prayers for his Cherise and his family. He'll always be a hero and My thoughts go out to his Burry's wife and family! Huge loss for SA and world cycling!!!

Deeply saddened to hear of the death of SA cycling hero Burry Stander... RIP, posted former Cricket South Africa (CSA) brand and corporate relations manager and gsport … for Girls! founder, Kass Naidoo.

SA trail running star, Ryan Sandes, also took to Twitter to express his sadness, writing: Gutted to hear about Burry ! RIP buddy.. You will always be a South African hero ! My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

SuperSport will screen a four-hour tribute to Stander, starting 19:00 on SS5 on Friday night, including highlights of his Cape Epic and Olympics performances.

Numerous riders have been organised all over the country in memory of Stander. Follow #rideforBurry on Twitter for details in your city.

- Sport24


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