Bike ride to honour Stander
JOHANNESBURG - As tributes continue to pour in for mountain biker Burry Stander, a memorial ride is being planned to celebrate the young athlete's life.
Stander died after being hit by a taxi in Shelly Beach, KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday.
However, the full details of the incident have yet to be revealed.
Stander will be remembered as an inspiration to South African cyclists.
Just hours after his death was confirmed, his Facebook and Twitter feeds were filled with condolences from fellow cyclists and South Africans following his career.
He was the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Champion and won the ABSA Cape Epic back to back in 2011 and 2012.
Former pro cyclist and one of Stander's close friends, Andrew Mclean, said South Africa has lost one of its greatest ambassadors.
“He was the ultimate role model, a true champion and it’s a sad day for South Africans. In fact it’s a sad day for South Africa.”
Stander married elite road cyclist Cherise Taylor in May last year, just three months before he narrowly missed out on a medal at the London Olympics.
A memorial ride is set for next week but no details have been provided as yet.
Cycling champion Stander dies in road accident
Police were investigating, according to the association.
Stander (25) was fifth in the men's cross country race at the 2012 London Olympics. Four years earlier, at the Beijing Games, he had proved his ability when he finished 15th in the cross country event at the age of 20.
The following season he rose to prominence on the global stage when he won the Under-23 title in the Mountainbike World Cup series. In 2011, Stander became the first South African to win the Cape Epic stage race in the Western Cape, with Swiss partner Christoph Sauser, and the pair defended their title in 2012.
"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.
"I'm upset that the world has been deprived of a true legend in the making. Now we'll never know just how great he was destined to be."
Sauser posted a distraught message on Twitter, saying: "Never felt so empty since my dad passed away when I was a kid. @africanmtbkid I will never forget you."
Stander was married to elite road cyclist Cherise Taylor in May last year, just three months before he narrowly missed out on a medal at the London Olympics.
An emotional Loumeau said Stander, who was raised in KZN, would be missed by the South African cycling community.
"I had seen him come through the ranks since 2006," she said. "He was a fantastic role model, and at the same time he was humble at it."
Gideon Sam, the president of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), said he was "shattered" by the death of Stander, a three-time national champion in his specialist discipline.
"Burry was the epitome of an Olympic athlete – talented, ultra-competitive but at the same time extremely humble and a true gentleman," Sam said.
"Sascoc, the cycling fraternity, and the entire South African sporting community mourns his passing and sends our prayers to his wife and family."
Sam said a concerted effort needed to be made to protect athletes using South Africa's roads.
"I've said this time and again but it is really time to work even harder at protecting both our runners and cyclists who use the roads daily to do their training." – Sapa
Fans: RIP Burry Stander
He was 25.
This is sad news. Mr Stander you wil be missed by all - Hannah Jessica
I did not know you or of you until tonight,my Brother Colin did and shares the same passion as you,may you rest in Peace and may God Bless your loved ones left behind. No words at this time can take away the pain of your loss to South Africa and your achivments. Deepest Regrets - Lee Anderson-Brooks
My sincere condolences to the family of Burry Stander, not enough is done to prevent such tragedies, I hope the guilty party is brought to book and dealt with accordingly - tayles38
Dear Stander Family, My deepest and sincerest consolences on your very tragic loss - Johann Kloppers
This is too sad for words. so young and talented. I pray justice take its course - Bessenaar family in Johannesburg.
So incredibly shocked and sad that such a talented, young person died so early. My deepest condolences - Junet Theron
Dear Cherise,family and friends of Burry, Although we did not know Burry personally, we knew who he was and of his phenominal cycling achievements. We saw him cycling last week whilst we were on holiday on the South Coast and my husband pointed Burry out.Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with you and we cannot imagine what you must be going through. His passing is a tragic, senseless loss - Hugo and Brenda Van Zyl
My deepest condolences to the family and especially for Burry's parents and newly wed wife Cherise. May you keep on riding the trails in heaven! - Fellow cyclist, Hein Schmidlin - Western Cape.
He created the sport of mtb in me, and for my beloved GREYTON! He was truly larger than life. Let SA not forget his influence - Peter Gilder
Damn! Not news I ever wanted to hear. Lit a candle for Burry, his young wife and family tonight. RIP Burry - From just an old mtb.
So so sorry. Our hearts will be there with the family through this tuff time. He will be greatly missed!!! What a great guy!!! - Divun Delport
I cannot imagine reading a mountainbike race result and not seeing Burry's name there ! My most recent memory of him is chewing my nails and sms'ing all my friends and family to tune in and watch, when he fought so hard for a medal in the last olympics and only narrowly missed it! My husband is doing the Cape epic this year and I'm sure it just won't be quite the same now. We are both very shocked and saddened by the news. Our deepest sympathy to his family and especially Cherise! He's not gone. He has simply imigrated to heaven - Colette
Ek is verslae oor die ontstellende nuus. My hart gaan uit na Burry se familie in vriende! Ek dink aan julle in my gebede. Sterkte gaan almal - Johan van Huyssteen
Just totally totally numb... - Janet
My brother used to ride with him when they where younger... I still can't believe he is gone. Its so so sad. My heart goes out to the family and especially his wife. Goodness its so sad! I'm so sorry - Rozelle du Toit.
He was a role model to our younger riders. We will miss him a lot in the mountain biking. You will always be a legend in our hearts. To his loved ones we will carried you guys with us each day and pray that God will help you thru this hard time XXX - jeanrilouw
It is indeed such a sad and unnecessary death of a young man whom whole life was ahead of him and his wife. A extremely sad time in S.A sport and cycling community. Our deepest sympathy - Mady Lawrence
Lovely friendly, courteous young man with plenty of talent and a HUGE heart. The world will be poorer without you, Burry. RIP in MTB heaven. Our deepest condolences to the Stander family. You are in our hearts and prayers - Cecile van Rie
The world is a poorer place without this talented young man. He was a clean and humble sportsman in a sport where big talk and big scandals had been the norm for years.
SA have lost a son to yet another act of lawlessness. And our prez is more concerned about the roles of dogs in western culture while the actual dogs are sowing anarchy on our roads.
Burry is dead - long live Burry Stander ! - Christo
We will miss you. You were a true hero and inspiration to all our kids at school - Hoërskool Waterkloof
Burry, Thank you for being so available to us normal riders and inspiring us to be the best we could be. You were never selfish of your time and always willing to give some advise from your cycling experiences. I am glad that I got to spend time with you and the Specialized team in Europe last September. You will always be in our memories and alongside us out on our bikes to get through those tough days in the saddle. Your place in cycling will be greatly missed. Your Specialized fan - Colin van Zyl
Absolute bullshit. Sort out flipping taxi's once and for all - Dean Smyth
Burry Stander will forever remember the thrilling hard riding race in london olympic - spiderkzn
Coaching kids i always share with them how Burry as a junior at the end of a national cross country event went and rounded up all the other juniors to help dismantle the course. what a young leader he was. thanks for being an inspiration Burry R.I.P. - 27836593903
To Burry's family. This is just terrible news. He was an epic MTB rider and admired by all MTBers all over the world including Australia where I reside. He is going to be missed by the MTB fraternity - he had so much ahead of him. Tragic. - Richard Tustin
Devastated to hear about the death of Burry Stander. Our hearts go out to his family. A great loss to South Africa - Anne Cousins
I grew up on the South Coast and knew Burry since primary school years. Burry and my brother, Ruan Nagel, were best friends and often trained together, both mountain biking and road cycling. Burry's mom, Mandie Stander, being my mom's best friend, ensured that we spent many afternoons at the Standers' small holding in Umtentweni and enjoyed many a cycle in the sugar cane fields together. Burry played an integral part in our lives. He was the ultimate example of a true hero, very disciplined in the sport he loved most, hard working and through his actions proved to every single person that knew him, whether ambitious, adventurous or drawn back and doubtful, that hard work and perseverance always pays off. My heart shattered at the news of my friend and brother's best friend's tragic passing. Burry had just opened his third cycle shop and was in the flair of his life. So young and talented; yet so humble. He did not deserve to have his life taken away so early, but i wish to see this tragic happening as a reminder that life is too short for regret and excuses. Burry, thank you for sharing your breathtaking life and its events with us and all the wonderful memories you leave behind. Cherise, tannie Mandie, oom Charles, Duane and Charl, my deepest sympathy for your immense loss. I share in your heartache, but know this, Burry has proven himself a true hero and a legend for all generations to come - Corine Howard
Condolences to Cherise and his family. Saw him racing inches away from me at the London Olympics. What class, he will always be remembered - Bernd Leibenguth
My best memory of Burry was in the London 2012 olympics, keeping up with the pack and pushing the pace, I was on the edge on my seat! I can't imagine what the Stander's must be going through right now. Thinking on them all - Anderson Gammon
My condolences to Burry's family and Cherise. I am at a loss for words. God bless and comfort you all at this sad time - Charles Kridiotis
A great sportsman taken away so suddenly. Our condolences go out to his family and all those he had impacted. May his soul r.i.p. - Charmaine Emmanuel
Rest in peace my hero. You were a National Treasure that has been taken from us far too soon. Our thoughts are with his family - Martin Bruning
I didn't know Burry Stander personally but he was an icon for the sport I love so much. Upon hearing the news I didn't know how to react! It is truly unimaginable to have lost someone so talented, so humble, so brilliant and so young of age. My heart truly goes out to his family and wife and to the friends who loved and knew him well. He was my hero, a hero to many and will always remain a legend. Rest in Peace Burry Stander, you were and still are an inspiration. I hope in some way this message reaches someone of importance to really show just how much one person can affect a nation who revered him... - Antal Meiswinkel
Words cant explain how shocked i am,my thoughts are with his wife and family,believe it this guy got me motivated,i followed him were i could and was looking forward to watching him beat everyone in tne cape epic,i hope the lord is into mtb as that were the great man is HURRY BURRY R.I.P. - Brendan Teixeira
Burry inspired everyone. He will be mourned and missed. My prayers are with the Stander family in this dark time.
I pray for his tragic passing to kick government in the ass to catch a wake up in the actual protection of sports enthusiast. This hooligan nation needs real leaders as this country is being sucked into a bottomless pit. The country needs people like Burry, who make SA a better place. RIP Burry. Enjoy the endless tracks in heaven - Kevin Zondagh
I am so sorry for your terrible loss, Burry was an inspiration and really shone in the Olympics, what a cruel way for this wonderful young man taken from his family and friends. My sincere condolences x - Julie Morris
When I heard that Burry had died I just couldn't believe it. To add insult to injury his death was caused by an infamous South African taxi driver. I sincerely hope they catch whoever did this and deal with his punishment in the most appropriate way. It's a pity the death penalty is no longer part of our law - in cases like this it should be. My sincere heartfelt apologies to the family and friends of the Burry and his new wife - they had their whole life ahead of them. We always used to follow Burry's progress during a race. He will be sorely missed. RIP Burry x x - The Versfeld family in Cape Town.
Dear Burry's family, We are deeply saddened by Burry's untimely loss to you and everyone. Our thoughts and prayers with you in this difficult time - The Weimar Family
Best memory was riding with him for an hour at last years wine to whale. Later sitting have dinner with him. Yes, for such an elite athlete he was humble and a gentlemen. RIP Thoughts are with Burry's wife and family - Dennis v d Westhuizen
This is truly very sad news, my condolences and thoughts are with the Stander family. God bless - Andrew
What a sad day for Firstly his family (we wish them a long life) SA (a huge loss) cycling and friends. Is it not ironic that it just happens to be another Taxi incident.... We are tired of the continued lip service from the traffic dept, they need to be accountable for the carnage on our roads which I believe is not happening. The fact that motorists take the law into there own hands is not an excuse for not doing your job. Enforce the laws through dedicated hard work, take the vehicles off the roads that are not roadworthy, make the roads a safe place for all to us. The days of lip service are over from the government and they must be made accountable if we want to all prosper and grow our economy. Please don't allow this terrible loss to be in vain, people must be accountable or we all have no true future - Mike Taitz
Someone I truly admired.a go-getter with the real South African spirit and an inspiration to all cyclists! I for one am going to miss the 'gentleman' of cycling! My sincere condolences go to Cherise and the rest of his family! - Glyn Jeenes
Condolences to the Stander family - Fred
Whilst I cannot claim to know Burry better than anyone else I do recall Sam Knox(Max's father) telling me in hushed tones whilst I shopped at his business (the Underberg Spar) that there was a new kid from the South Coast who was already winning races and would become a legend. The name stuck and Sam was right,this " littie" started winning everything! I then bumped into Burry training on Sani pass and managed to have a long chat with him at the Lesotho border post,what a pleasant and unassuming youngster. So I have been following Burry and watching his progress to becoming a legend ,it cannot happen now because he has been killed by some arbitrary fool.South Africa has been robbed, its tantamount to John Smit being murdered, or Jacque Kallis being run over,or Chad le Clos being shot, we've lost our greatest cycling talent and Burry's family have lost their loved one. Justice is not a word that is easily implemented in South Africa just ask the families of the kids run over by Jube Jube or what ever that idiots name is,nothing will bring Burry back now and he did not get a chance to show us just how good he was going to become.So sad what a waste RIP Burry - Andrew Ryan
When is somebody going to do something about the motorvehicle drivers in South Africa. I know some groups of cyclists is also to blame, but in most cases drivers just don't care. If they can drive over you they are very happy. And try to stop them and confront them, then they drive away. They are all cowards that is to fat and lazy to exercises now they take it out on people who try to take care of their bodies. My sincere condolence with all of Burry's family. Life will never be the same. My haert goes out to you. My husband's Specialised will have so many more memories now, as his shop was the only one that had the size we needed and he sent it to us. This is truely a very sad day - Anne-marie French
Burry were the example of will power and commitment and his skills on the bike was a pleasure to watch. South Africa and the rest of the biking world have truly lost a legend! My heart goes out to his wife and family! R.I.P - andrebene1
When I read the news of Burry's death I was devastated that such a senseless tragedy had occurred. As a very novice cyclist I look at cyclists like Burry and the other professionals and can really appreciate the sacrifices they make for their sport. Watching him ride, let alone win, the Cape Epic was truly inspirational to our whole family. We would like to send condolences to his wife Cherise and all his family and friends. They are in our prayers at this time - Dave, Tracy and Heather Buchan
Condolences to all the family. This is horrific news. God bless - George Jennings
I just wanted to send this poem for Burry’s friends and family – such a tragic loss – he was a hero to my 10 year old Son Jayden and I’m sure to many MANY more!!
They say memories are golden, well maybe that is true.
but they don’t want memories now, they only want you.
A million times they needed you, a million times they cried.
If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died.
In life they loved you dearly, in death they love you still.
In their hearts you hold a place no one could ever fill.
If tears could build a stairway and heartache make a lane,
They would walk the path to heaven and bring you back again.
Your family chain seems broken, and nothing seems the same.
But as we are called one by one, the chain will link again… - Shana Tamlyn Bracher
Deepest sympathy to Burry’s wife and family. A fantastically talented cyclist who will be sorely missed… - Helen Rose
Ek het Burry elke dag gevolg (op Tv natuurlik ) as hy Epic ry, wat ‘n goeie atleet !!!!!!!!!
Self by Olympics het hy sy beste vir sy Land gedoen
Ons dink aan julle familie in hierdie swaar tyd, weet al die fietsryers van Suid – Afrika ondersteun julle
Groete - Dan Cronje
My deepest condolences to Burrys wife and family, what shocking news to wake up to on a Friday morning. I know the pain as my brother was also tragically killed 8 years ago whilst on a training ride for a triathlon. This is an enormous loss to everyone. MHDSRIP - Alan Fine
We were so shocked to read of Burry's death, he was and will always remain a legend, an inspiration and SA cycling's brightest star. With sincere condolences - The Snyman Family
We will always remember Burry for the humble person he was. His success in cycling never changed his personality.Our thoughts and prayer go out to Charles, Mandi, Dwayne and family as they mourn their loss - Willie and Marcelle Campbell (Empangeni)
My deepest condolences to the Stander family. South Africa is mourning the death of our brightest sport star today. I am a mountain biker and he was my idol. I am devastated. How terribly sad. He had so much potential. The saddest part of it all is that his life was taken by a taxi! If at least he died from a mountain biking accident he would have lived and died his dream. Instead he was robbed of his life and South Africa robbed of a star by yet another car accident - Rene Boshoff
Burry Stander: Humility and professionality personified. He will be sorely missed by the SA cycling fraternity with SA having been deprived of one of its most promising greats in terms of sportsmen. He will remain a true Legend! - Brett Exner
He was a true inspiration to me as a social cyclist and PLEASE may this sad accident be the tipping point for a law to be passed of a 1.5m passing distance for all, including taxi drivers which seems to be a law onto themselves!! A very very sad day in my live! RIP Burry Stander- your legacy will forever be an inspiration to me! - Hein Klee
Dear Cherise and Family of Burry,
It is with deep regret that we learned of the passing of Burry.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.
Will always be remembered little guy making BIG MOVES in cycling, our respects and condolences to his Wife an Family - Lester de Klerk
How many more people has to die before we as South – Africans stand up for our rights and this is the right of safe roads, be paying taxes tolls etc and I know this has been said on numerous occasion but is this youngster just going to die in vain or will he just be forgotten like everyone else because we all just surviving in our country an not living. There was a time in this country when one man unified us as a nation and it has taken 17 year for predecessors to break down this once unified country, do we really just want to survive or do we want to live …. What am I going to tell my child once he is 18, what did I do to change this or will the system also break me and leave me to become like the rest ? Where's the leaders, we use to have some of the worlds best leaders in all aspects, are they also tiered of fighting the system ? Well you probably asking what this has to do with an awesome person dying; well everything because he might have been alive if we stood up for our beliefs and what is right and wrong, so if there is someone to blame for his death I have to put my hand up as well as I let him down as well. But the sun is shining and we have the power in our hands so today I am going to start and change our world we live in, it might be only a small contribution but I will never blame myself again for just a South African that has just formed part of the system - Leandro le Roux
Never met him, never saw him in the flesh, but it feels like a family member has died. I can only imagine the sadness his family and friends have to endure in the days and years to come. It was always a treat to watch him do what he was so damn brilliant at on TV. The talent; the dedication; the sheer brilliance of how he made it look so easy, so natural. Words of sympathy are inadequate and superficial. But Family Stander know that you are in my thoughts, know that I cry with you, know that in years to come we will remember Burry, we will think of him every time we take our bikes on the road and we will take his memory with us as we criss-cross the tracks and trails - Kosima
To the family of Burry we the Steyn family of Shelly Beach are so very sorry for your great loss.
We watched Burry at the Olympics and were all shouting for him.
We cant believe it and want you all to know that you are all in our thoughts.
My 2 sons both got bicycles for Christmas as they were so inspired by your wonderful son.
Ride on Burry you will never be forgotten - Linda Steyn
I have never been inspired by a cyclist as much as by Burry… We jumped up and down in the house cheering him during the 2012 Olympics and he made South Africa proud and will ALWAYS be my legend! He was the reason I started with Moutain Bike races last year and wish he knew the effect he had on a lot of cyclists! He will be greatly missed and my condolences to Cherise who only had the privileged of being married for 8 months – my heart bleeds for her. Cherise and Burry’s family will be in my prayers - Sonya Holl
As a cyclist myself it must be noted that not a day passes that I do not encounter a close call with a motorist/vechile. This is unacceptable. Something must be done - Danie Jacobs
Was riding on the south coast roads myself during december holidays. In less than 3km on tar roads no less than 5 taxi drivers passed dangerously close to me. Decided to stay of the road. Trained in the suburbs. TRAGIC disregard for fellow human being's life - Christo Smit
Terrible news about the unnecessary passing away of Burry. Deepest condolences to his wife and family. Enough is enough, wake up Law Enforcement Authorities, law abiding citizens need to be protected - Pieter Bornman