SA cyclist’s wife recalls last words

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iol pic sport South Africa OBIT Burry Stander AP In this photo taken on September 4, 2010 Burry Stander flashes a three as he crosses the finish line in third place in the men's Elite cross-country at the Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships at Mont-Sainte-Anne, in Beaupre, Quebec.

Johannesburg -

Olympic cyclist Burry Stander's last words to his wife of less than a year were 'I love you', said the Sunday Times.

Speaking through a family friend, Cherise Stander told the newspaper that she spoke to her husband over the phone about two hours before he was hit and killed by a taxi on Thursday.

He had been on a solo 100km training ride from Port Shepstone to Port Edward.

“He phoned at the halfway mark in Port Edward just to check in (with me). He said he was excited about having a strong tailwind for the ride back,” Stander's wife was quoted as saying.

“He ended the conversation with 'I love you'... Those were the last words he ever said to me.”

The taxi driver who was alleged to have knocked down the 25-year-old cyclist would appear in the Port Shepstone Magistrate's Court on Monday where he would face a charge of culpable homicide.

Stander was fifth in the men's cross country race at the 2012 London Olympics. Four years earlier, at the Beijing Games, he finished 15th in the cross country event at the age of 20.

The following season he rose to prominence on the global stage when he won the Under-23 title in the Mountain bike World Cup series.

In 2011, he became the first South African to win the Cape Epic stage race in the Western Cape, with Swiss partner Christoph Sauser. The pair defended their title in 2012. - Sapa


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