Stander in winning form in Malaysia
19 October 2011
Multiple South African and African mountain bike champion, Burry Stander of Specialized USN, won the opening stage of the inaugural Langkawi International Mountain Bike Challenge in Malaysia on Tuesday.
Stander outsprinted four-time Absa Cape Epic champion, Karl Platt of Germany, to clock a winning time of two hours 24 minutes and 20 seconds for the 61km stage that started and finished at the Langkawi Sports Complex.
Former European champion, Thomas Dietsch of France, finished in third place.
Stander has scored some big wins in 2011, with none being bigger than his victory with Swiss team-mate Christoph Sauser in the Absa Cape Epic in April. It made him the first ever South African winner of the tough stage race.
In February, he dominated the action in securing the African Elite men's cross-country title in Stellenbosch. The following month he outsprinted Kevin Evans to claim the South African MTN Marathon Championships title.
Stander is currently ranked sixth in the world in the cross-country discipline. His results in seven World Cup events in 2011 include fourth in Offenburg, Germany, and Windham, New York. He placed sixth in Monte Sainte Anne, in Canada, and seventh at Dalby Forest, Great Britain.
The KwaZulu-Natal native, a former under-23 world champion, also finished eleventh in the season-opening event in Pietermaritzburg, after suffering a spectacular crash on the last lap.
He will be a medal prospect for South Africa at next year's London Olympic Games.
Switzerland's Nathalie Schneitter (Colnago Farbe Sudtirol) won the women's category in 2:56:40.
South Africa's Yolande Speedy (MTN Qhubeka) claimed a very credible fifth place, just over eight minutes off the pace.
Stage two on Wednesday is an Olympic Cross-country (XCO) race to be held on a 4.7-kilometre course. The unique five-stage tour, which is designed to test rider versatility, ends on Saturday.
Langkawi International MTB Challenge
Stage One – 61km Marathon
- Burry Stander RSA (Specialized USN) 2:24:20
- Karl Platt GER (Team Bulls) same time
- Thomas Dietsch FRA (Team Bulls) @ 1:52
- Wolciech Halejak POL (Mroz Activejet) @ 4:13
- Johnny Cattaneo ITA (Full Dynamix) @ 5:11
- Lachlan Norris AUS (Giant Global Factory) @ 5:17
- Adrian Jackson AUS @ 5:28
- Bartosz Banach POL (Mroz Activejet) @ 6:24
- Daniel Gathof GER (Craft Rocky Mountain) @ 6:38
- Kohei Yamamoto JPN @ 6:50
- Nathalie Schneitter SUI (Colnago Farbe Sudtirol) 2:56:40
- Vivienne Meyer SUI (Colnago Farbe Sudtirol) @ 0:06
- Jodie Willet AUS @ 2:12
- Michela Benzoni ITA (Lissone) same time
- Yolande Speedy RSA (MTN Qhubeka) @ 8:04
- Masziyaton Mohd Radzi MLA (Kedah SBS Giant) @ 12:32
- Jenny Fay IRE @ 12:41
- Katherine O'Shea AUS @ 12:57
- Eszter Dosa HUN @ 14:28
- Naomi Hansen AUS @ 16:02
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