Team dormakaba SA (left to right): Candice Lill, Samantha Sanders, Carmen Buchacher, and Nico Pfitzenmaier.

Two new cyclists join the formidable team

Announcing the sponsorship, Shaun Frayne, Managing Director of dormakaba South Africa, said the contracts with Carmen and Samantha are of huge value to the team. “We are extremely excited about the prospect of these two talented, up-and-coming riders competing in the blue and red dormakaba jersey. We believe they have the potential, competitive spirit and determination to take women’s mountain biking to new heights.”

Samantha Sanders (left) and Carmen Buchacher (right).

Carmen and Samantha are indeed a good fit for the existing team members, Nico Pfitzenmaier and Candice Lill. Nico has 30 Cape Epic category stage wins (18 Mixed, 12 Masters) and three category overall wins (1 Masters, 2 Mixed) under his belt, while Candice has won a XCO World Championships bronze medal in the Junior category and represented South Africa at the London Olympic Games.

At the end of July 2017, Candice also won the Elite women’s title at Round 5 of the Ashburton Investments National Mountain Bike Series the second year in succession. She is also the only South African female to have won a UCI Mountain Bike World Championships medal.

New team member Carmen Buchacher was born in 1986 and just eight years later became the youngest female competitor to take on the Argus Cycle Tour. Based in Cape Town, Carmen entered her debut year as a professional local and international athlete in 2016 and has – amongst many other XCM races – an impressive track record of podium finishes, including the Joburg2c, Absa Cape Epic, the Sellaronda HERO in Italy and the National XCM Championships in Austria.

She crossed over to mountain biking at the beginning of 2015. This gifted athlete, who completed her degree in sport science via correspondence with a German institution, is determined to succeed.

Carmen will be competing locally and internationally again this year. “I am aiming high and determined to achieve new and greater results,” she says.

Back in the saddle – Samantha Sanders

There is one thing that Samantha Sanders is not short of – a determined, competitive spirit! It is little wonder that Samantha progressed from an amateur to a professional mountain biker. A late starter to the sport with no prior exposure to cycling, Sam has progressively moved from amateur to professional on her own steam. With no professional sporting background and no experienced management guiding her, it has been a journey of trial and error for this talented cyclist.

Samantha Sanders (front) and Carmen Buchacher (back).

After a year of injuries in 2015, Sam decided to focus on road riding in 2016. She won a silver medal in the individual time trial at the SA Road Championships, gold at the Team Trial at CA Championships and a bronze in the Individual Time Trial (ITT) race. She was selected to represent South Africa at the World Road Championships in Doha, the CA Championships in Morocco and again in Egypt in 2017.

What has been the secret to her success? For one thing, there are few riders who have achieved success in cycling’s three disciplines: road racing, cross-country and marathon racing.

Says Shaun: “Our four chosen ambassadors have what it takes to succeed in cycling and in life. Not only do they embody the spirit of determination, commitment and hard work which is synonymous with the service provided by dormakaba SA, but also our brand value of trust, performance and courage. We are truly proud to be associated with them.”

Watch this space!