What is dormakaba? Exactly the question we asked! dormakaba (yes, lowercase d), is a global buildings and rooms access and security solutions company. If you’ve visited an airport, hospital or shopping centre, chances are you did so through a dormakaba entrance/exit.
In the mountain bike racing environment, you’ll have seen dormakaba branding on Candice Lill, Vera Adrian and Nico Pfitzenmaier. The blue, red and white kit is bright and bold, not unlike the riders, each of whom has a ready smile and a list of notable achievements as bicycle racers.
Pfitzenmaier is technically a middle-aged man, but you’d never say so when you see him in action on a bike. A regular visitor to race podiums in the Veteran age category, the former German isn’t far from the sharp end of any race and has 30 Cape Epic category stage wins (18 Mixed, 12 Masters) and three category overall wins (1 Masters, 2 Mixed) to his name.
Adrian is Namibian and comes from an accomplished road cycling background, having won multiple national and continental titles; she also competed on the road at the Rio Olympics. She’s no stranger to top finishes at significant South African mountain bike events and is continuing to develop the skill and confidence required to be a regular off-road podium contender.
Lill’s mountain bike pedigree is pure. She grew up racing mountain bikes in KwaZulu-Natal and has won a XCO World Championships bronze medal in the Junior category and represented South Africa at the London Olympic Games.
“Our primary objective for 2017 is to crush the competition! Mostly,” grinned Lill.
“Seriously, though, Vera and I are doing our first Cape Epic, which is a huge objective for Team dormakaba. We are going into the race with a conservative approach with the aim of finishing strong. It’s not our goal to win (yet) but we would like to stand on the podium for a stage or two, which I believe we can achieve if we play our cards well and of course have a bit of luck,” added Lill.
In addition to the Cape Epic, Adrian and Lill will compete in most of the short South African stage races, the major one-day races and some European events during the South African winter. They also have their sights set on their respective national championships.
The young women know they’re up against the strongest opposition at this level, but feel they complement each other well enough to deliver a formidable combination.
“We always make sure that we keep an element of fun, even in serious and pressured times. You have to love what you do,” explained Lill.
“We know how to motivate each other (by the way, ours are two very different approaches), but if I tell you, that would be giving away trade secrets. This is important in a race where it is easy to become demotivated when things aren’t going your way.
“What I love about Vera is that she is a real racer! She understands that racing is pain and she is willing to embrace it. I have seen her push herself beyond her limit and then more, which is credible. You can always work with someone who is willing to give their absolute best.
Having experienced some respective sponsor changes and team uncertainty in recent years, the trio feel settled with the set-up of dormakaba. Emotional stability, especially for female racers, is critical if the riders are to give their very “best”.
“My favourite thing about dormakaba, as a company, is the people who work there. We have a very good relationship with our ‘boss’ Shaun Frayne. He always takes time out of his day to communicate with us; his understanding and support for us goes a long way. He believes in our wellbeing as people and athletes, which is very rare and much appreciated,” said Lill.
“We have met many of the dormakaba employees through outrides and skills clinics. What stands out is their positive energy for life and enjoyment of what they do. It’s pretty much a mirror of our attitude as the team racers,” added Lill.
Follow Team dormakaba’s progress on twitter: @TeamDORMASA
Find out more about dormakaba’s products and services at www.dormakaba.com