Two of South Africa’s most gifted mountain bikers, Carmen Buchacher and Samantha Sanders, will in 2018 ride in the Team dormakaba SA jersey. They will join the current squad members, Nico Pfitzenmaier and Candice Lill, to form a formidable dormakaba 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.”
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 8 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 athlete in 2016 and has an impressive track record of podium finishes including Joburg2c, MTB National Series, Argus MTB and several road races.
She crossed over to mountain biking at the beginning of 2015. She soon realised that this form of cycling agreed with her. She now firmly believes she could compete at pro level. This gifted athlete is determined to succeed and completed her degree in sport science via correspondence with a German institution.
When she is not taking on new and established routes and carving her name into the record books, Carmen works in the Velocity Sports Lab gym in Hout Bay as a personal trainer.
“I plan to compete in an all-women’s team in the stage race this year. I have previously raced in the mixed category. Unfortunately this category is not as recognized anymore as events encourage all-men and all-women teams. My philosophy is to never be afraid to fail, that you must work hard to achieve your goals, learn from your mistakes and use them to become a better athlete and person,” says Carmen.
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. Considering her limited budget, resources and lack of team support in the past, she has overcome the odds and now sets her own pace on and off the track.
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!