Burry Stander of South Africa flashes a three as he crosses the finish 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, Sept. 4, 2010. / AP Photo/Canadian Press via CBS
JOHANNESBURG - Burry Stander, a two-time Olympian from South Africa and one of the world's best mountain bikers, was killed while training Thursday when his bike collided with a taxi. He was 25.
The circumstances of the accident near his home in Shelley Beach, south of Durban, were still being investigated, Cycling South Africa said.
Stander competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, finishing fifth at the London Games. He was a former under-19 and under-23 world champion.
"I'm totally shattered," said Gideon Sam, president of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee. He called Stander "talented, ultra-competitive but at the same time extremely humble and a true gentleman."
Stander's death prompted a flood of tributes on social media from South African athletes, politicians and celebrities. Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympic runner and multiple Paralympic medalist, said on Twitter he was "devastated."
Stander's death comes after a rash of accidents involving high-profile cyclists in 2012, including a collision between a car and Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, who suffered broken ribs.
Cycling South Africa said Stander was the country's most successful mountain biker and "a true icon and sporting role model."
Stander won South Africa's Cape Epic stage race with Swiss teammate Christoph Sauser in 2011 and the pair successfully defended their title in 2012. Sauser also mourned Stander on Twitter, using Stander's Twitter name.
Stander was the second leading cyclist to be killed in a road accident in South Africa in recent years. Carla Swart died in January 2011 when she was hit by a truck while training.
More from wtsp.com:
Bikini Photos: 2012 Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant
Caught on Camera: Dashcam catches 14 illegal immigrants jumping from SUV
Really?!?: Dashcam catches man urinating on patrol car
Gah: Nose ring found in McDonalds burrito
7-11 Nudie: Nude robber boosts 7-11, video
Lil Girl Gang: Little girls busted in burglary ring
Oh Deer: Video catches deer tangled in Christmas lights
Sex Offender Search: Look up Florida Sex Offenders here
Lawsuit: Scientology allegedly covered up woman's death
Lovely Angels: 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show pictures
Yowtch! Teen accidentally shoots off his penis, testicle
Cheerleader sex: Former Ben-Gal pleads guilty to sex with teen
Unwelcome house guests: Coyotes move into abandoned mansion
PHOTOS: George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin crime scene pics
Not just a game? Man murdered for Magic: The Gathering cards
Yearbook mug shot: Teen who posed in racy yearbook photos busted for underage drinking
Bikinis, mud, trucks: The Redneck Yacht Club
Photos: Ex-Charlie Sheen Goddess Bree Olson
Naughty Schoolgirls: Naughty schoolgirl night at Tampa club pictures
Outrageous mug shot galleries...
Strange: Some of the most unusual mug shots we've seen
Notorious Women: Bad girls behind bars
Teachers: Teacher arrest mugshots
Celebrities: The rich and famous have their own booking photos
Jaw droppers: Open mouth mug shots
Laughers: What's so funny mug shots
Prostitutes: Prostitute mug shots
Athletes: Professional athlete mug shots
Porn arrests: Child porn arrest mug shots
Local Mugs: Hillsborough County Mug shots
More unusual mug shots and galleries: 10 News slideshows and galleries