Burry Stander tribute at The Cascades MTB Park
Pietermaritzburg – With just over two months to go to the start of UCI MTB and Trials World Championships at The Cascades MTB Park, a large permanent memorial to iconic rider and role model Burry Stander has been established at the venue.
Located close to the start/finish straight where Stander finished second to Swiss ace Nino Schurter at last year’s UCI MTB World Cup, the newly grassed bank, shaped to resemble a pair of angels wings includes a white “ghost-bike” traditionally erected for cycling heroes.
At the centre of the memorial is a garden, also shaped in a pair of wings, which contains a plaque which contains a four line tribute penned by Pietermaritzburg based downhill World Champion Greg Minnaar that reads: “Those we love don’t go away; They walk beside us every day; Unseen, unheard but always near; Still loved, still missed and very dear.”
The memorial is the work of Jackie Thies, mother to an eager and talented ten year old mountain biking daughter, and a passionate MTB supporter.
She was approached by the KZN MTB Commission to construct the memorial garden because she had established a close bond with Stander when her daughter started mountain biking as a six year old, and thrived on the loyal support from Stander as she progressed.
Thies plans to extend the work she has done at the site to include a picture of Stander on the base of the plague plinth, and to add two further ghost bikes covered in white flowers.
“A lot of sweat and tears went into it,” said Thies, who spent two weeks landscaping the area at the entrance to The Cascades MTB Park. The memorial will be formally dedicated during the World Championships at the end of August.
The UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships takes place at The Cascades MTB park in Pietermaritzburg from 26 August to 1 September 2013, and will be preceded by the UCI MTB Masters World Championships from 21 to 25 August. More information can be found at www.mtbworldchamps.co.za.