Burry and Cherise Stander can rightfully claim that they are at the moment the most successful married couple on the South African cycling scene.

Name any local race (mountain bike or road) and there is an excellent chance that either Burry (Specialized) or Cherise (Momentum-Toyota) will have won it at least once.

It should, therefore, be no surprise if the Nissan TrailSeeker event, the Down and Dirty, that is scheduled for Saturday, 1 September in Centurion, turns out to be an all Stander affair with Burry winning the men’s marathon over 70 kilometres and Cherise the women’s race.

A combined husband and wife victory will be a first in the history of the Nissan TrailSeeker series.

Another first will be that no less than five Olympians will be competing in a Nissan TrailSeeker event.

Apart from the Standers, Philip Buys (USN), Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwanda riding for MTN Qhubeka) and Marc Bassingthwaighte (Namibia) will also be competing.

The men’s race could turn out to be quite a humdinger because Stander and Buys have been involved in some epic duals during the past two seasons.

Stander has been victorious on each occasion, but the time gap between him and Buys is becoming smaller all the time.

The Nissan TrailSeeker series has been a playground for Buys since its inception and he was the overall winner in the inaugural series.

The Nissan Down and Dirty will give Burry an opportunity to check the progress he has made to improve his start procedure.

One of the questions that was asked after Burry’s heroic ride at the Olympic Games in London (in which he finished 5th) was why it was necessary for him to play catch up during the first few laps.

“I have been making the same mistake throughout the season, namely to start in a gear that is too big. At the Olympics I was really caught out because I was simply unable to start pedalling.

“Luckily I now know what my mistake was and since the Olympics I have been practising to begin in a smaller gear.”

Niyonshuti has shown that he is in good form with his 3rd place finish in the MTN Gravel Travel, the South African ultra-marathon race, outside Wellington.

The Down and Dirty gives the Olympians a final opportunity to prepare for the UCI Cross-Country World Championship that will take place in Austria the following weekend.

Cherise caused quite a stir when she won the MTN Gravel Travel women’s marathon on Saturday (25 August). In doing so she also became the SA marathon champion.

This might just be the first of many mountain-bike victories for Cherise.

According to Cherise, she is seriously considering to race more and more mountain-bike marathons.

In October she and Burry will be competing in a mountain-bike tour in Malaysia.

“One of my long-term goals is definitely to represent South Africa at the World Marathon Championship in 2014 in Pietermaritzburg.

“What I love about mountain biking is that you race for yourself. Road cycling tends to get complicated with all its team tactics.

“The only challenge in mountain biking is to get on your bike and race as hard as you can for three to four hours. And I just love it.”

For more information about the upcoming races please visit www.advendurance.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxamwN-KMxg