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Winning Burry to defend title

By Mark Etheridge

Beijing Olympian Burry Stander is in Pretoria this weekend for the national mountain-bike championships.

And he wound up his training with a victory in the Toti ’69’er road race on the Natal south coast, meaning he’ll go into the defence of this weekend’s championship at the Fountains Nature Reserve in confident frame of mind.

“Last week was really hard for me training-wise because I had to start turning the screws to get my body in shape for the most important time of my season,” said Stander.

“After the SA champs I leave for Europe to race two World Cup events and then then World Marathon Championships, all on back to back weekends!”

Stander has been back at home gearing up for his busy time ahead.

“The past few weeks have been incredible on the south coast, the weather is magnificent even though its the middle of winter. I’m in Pretoria already for the race this weekend and it is absolutely freezing. We definitely have it good on the coast.

“As a good leg opener I decided to race ‘Toti. The club there does a great job at hosting the event and the route is a mostly coastal route that goes all the way down to Pennington and back.

“I had tired legs leading into the race but when the racing started felt pretty good and very excited. A group of eight riders got away early with the House of Paint pro team represented well with four riders.

“In the end it came down to a sprint which I managed to win ahead of Dean Edwards with some smart┬ámanouevring rather than all out power.”