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Candice joined the dormakaba team in 2016 as a XC Champion, but soon discovered her talent for stage racing. At her first stage race, the Tankwa Trek, Candice and her partner finished second in their category. In April, Candice and Darren Lill (her new husband), won the joBerg2c mixed category. Candice then partnered with Namibian road cycling champion, Vera Adrian and won the ladies team category of the Sani2c and the Berg&Bush. Candice says that winning the Sani2c was “something we had only dreamed about doing and when we realised what we were capable of, we backed it up by winning the Berg&Bush as well.”

However, it wasn’t all glory. Mountain biking is known to be the most humbling sport and Candice felt the full weight of this sentiment when she broke her wrist in July. The injury forced Candice off the bike for eight weeks, but she was patient and learned that rest is medicinal to an athlete. Candice also moonlights as a student and received distinctions for all her subjects at UNISA in 2016. Fully healed and ready for competition, Candice placed third in the ladies’ team category at the Wine2Whales.

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In 2017, Dormakaba has not only renewed their sponsorship with Candice, but added Vera Adrian as an ambassador too. This year, you will see Team Dormakaba at the major stage races starting with the Tankwa Trek and the team’s first attempt at the ABSA Cape Epic. Candice says that their participation in the Epic this year is “not about winning”, as it is their first time, but they wouldn’t mind a podium finish for a stage (or two). She is currently doing interval and strength training alongside her regular training schedule to help prepare her body for the Epic and racing year ahead.

Candice says that during the past year she has learned to embrace the pain that comes with the sport because when you “ride through the pain you win races.” We hope to see more of this spirit in 2017 and wish Candice a very successful 2017.

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