Multiple mountain bike world championship medallist, Burry Stander (Specialized USN), gave another display of his diversity when he won both Elite men’s titles at the KwaZulu-Natal provincial road cycling championships at the weekend.
On Saturday the 2008 Olympian, who lives near Port Shepstone, captured the gold medal in the individual time trial with an impressive time of 52min 29sec for the undulating 40.5km course near Camperdown. He followed that up on Sunday with victory in the 120km road race, ridden mostly in heavy rain. His time of 3:04:34 was more than three minutes quicker than the next rider across the line.
ÔÇ£I was under a lot of pressure during the early part of the race, having to cover most of the breaks; not much assistance from other riders. Then I decided at about 70km to thin the field out a bit and did a hard pull on the front for a while which got the group down to seven,ÔÇØ explained Stander.
The lead group was then whittled down to four by the start of the 10km finishing circuit for the final 40km and comprised Stander, Brandon Stewart (DCM), Luke Roberts (BMC) and Richard Baxter (Tasol/GT).
ÔÇ£On the first climb I put in a big effort and got away from the others. From there I just put my head down and rode my own race off the front. It was good preparation for National Road Champs in two weeks time. I feel I’m on a different level to what I was last year. My training and nutrition have been going well and I’m obviously recovering well from my hard training sessions.ÔÇØ
Roberts, Baxter and Stewart finished second, third and fourth respectively. The 2011 South African Road Championships are in Port Elizabeth from 2-6 February.
It was a good weekend for Stander. On Saturday his fiance, Cherise Taylor, also grabbed both the Elite women’s titles on offer.