Vera Adrian aims for the crest

She is fluent in three languages, she won Namibia’s national championships four years in a row and she represented Namibia in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio da Janeiro.

Meet 24-year old cyclist Vera Adrian, who is proudly sponsored by dormakaba. Sporting the dormakaba jersey, Vera recently came seventh in a time of 2 hours 37 minutes in the Telkom 94.7 Cycle Challenge race in Johannesburg: quite an achievement considering that more than 26 000 cyclists participated in this challenging race, which is the world’s second-largest timed cycle race after the Cape Argus Cycle Race.

The 94.7 is classified as a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) race. The UCI, which is based in Switzerland, is the governing body for sports cycling and oversees international competitive cycling events.

According to Vera, it was a tough race. “We had to do a lot of climbing, but that’s how you learn.  It was not totally the outcome I was hoping for, but I’m still happy with the result.”

A Namibian by birth, Vera became national champion in 2012, after which she won her country’s national championships four years in a row from 2014 onwards. Her home language is German, but she is also fluent in English and Afrikaans.

She is very thankful for the dormakaba sponsorship. “It enabled me to be a professional athlete; to focus fully on riding my bike without stress about studies or work; and to participate in a lot of races in South Africa. Because of the sponsorship, I am lucky enough to have one of the best mountain bikes out there. The Cannondale is known for its lefty shock. If you have ever ridden one, you will not go back to another suspension. The bike carries a flow into the technical trails like no other, but it is also super stiff on the climbs.”

Her Dad, Rolf Adrian, flew down from Namibia to assist Vera’s team. “As our manager, he and a mechanic followed the race in the support car. He provided food for us and was also responsible for team tactics and to assist should one of our bikes get a puncture.”

The world is indeed her oyster. These days, Stellenbosch is home to her, but she also spends a lot of time in Windhoek and Switzerland.  Her favourite area as far as training is concerned, is the Züricher Oberland in Switzerland. “There are many quiet roads and you can climb forever. The cars respect you and there are fountains everywhere, which enable you to carry only one water bottle for a 5-hour ride.”

Vera is one of three processional riders sponsored by dormakaba. Why the sponsorship?  According to Shaun Frayne, Regional Director of dormakaba South Africa, the company is associated with ground-breaking solutions that give clients the edge in process management, particularly in terms of access control and architectural hardware.

“We network with market leaders, people and businesses who have distinguished themselves through their professionalism, success and achievement. This is the basis of dormakaba’s ongoing sponsorship of Team dormakaba, made up of Vera, Nico Pfitzenmaier and Candice Lill.”

He says dormakaba South Africa is honoured to have Vera represent their brand. “Vera is the girl-next-door who happens to be an Olympian. We are thrilled to be working with her.”

He is adamant that supporting this sport and encouraging employee and client participation, is the recipe for success in a highly competitive and fast-changing solution development and integration space. This is the reason behind the hosting of regular mountain-bike skills and networking clinics.

“These clinics,” he explains, “allow clients and employees to network and share knowledge of mountain biking, while also facilitating business.  They are also an effective way to reach customers, staff and partners, and transfer the benefit of mountain biking, healthy living and great product.”