South African Olympic Cyclist Stander Is Killed in Road Accident

South Africa’s leading mountain biker Burry Stander died in a road accident while on a training ride near his home.

The 25-year-old, who finished fifth in the men’s cross-country race at the London Olympics and also competed at the Beijing Games, was killed in a collision with a taxi in Shelly Beach, a town on South Africa’s east coast, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee said yesterday.

“This is indeed terrible news to start 2013 with,” SASCOC president Gideon Sam said in a statement. “Burry was the epitome of an Olympic athlete: talented, ultra-competive but at the same time extremely humble and a true gentleman.”

Two years ago, Carla Swart, another leading South African cyclist, was killed when she was hit by a truck while training in Free State province. Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins, fellow British rider Mark Cavendish and British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton were involved in collisions with vehicles in the U.K. last year.