Runners-up last year to Candice Lill and Vera Adrian, the pair are looking forward to racing together for Team dormakaba.
“I’m really excited to ride with Sam again. We were in a team together for four years with Valencia,” said McDougall, who is dormakaba’s newest face.
She added that they made a strong team and were happy to communicate and help each other out where they could.
Sanders, who won the Panorama Tour mixed title with Marnus Potgieter last week, said their partnership had always worked well in the past.
“I’m stoked to have Amy on the team. We have good racing chemistry and get along off the bike too so it’s fabulous to be on a team with her.
“As riders we both enjoy the technical stuff but ultimately we understand and respect each other and the nature of racing. Some days you’re firing and some days you aren’t, so it’s about filling a role and being able to adapt to the circumstances.”
McDougall said the key thing that would be different racing with Sanders was that they would have proper team structure and support.
“It’s something we haven’t had in the past – dormakaba really provides the infrastructure and support that helps us perform at our best.
“From a team point of view and how we ride together it will hopefully stay the same, because what we do works.”
She felt that the route played in their favour as they would be able to showcase their strengths.
“We’re both good on the technical sections and the singletrack suits us. Sam is so strong on everything, while the days with more climbing will be good for me.”
Sanders felt the route had a good mix of everything. “Day two is long and has a fair amount of climbing, which always hurts, but it’s part of the challenge. The descents and technical sections suit me more and they’re fun, but you have to go up to come down.”
“I felt really strong during joBerg2c, which was nice as I haven’t had a great year, so I’ve come out with some good form.”
Sanders said their goal was to race hard and do their sponsor proud.
“As racers we love to be competitive of course, so winning is also on the to-do list. I don’t think we have ever done anything wrong that caused a loss.
“You always go out and do your best, but as with all stage races it’s important to gauge your efforts every day, keep your nutrition in check and make sure you start with equipment that is well maintained. We try to take each day as it comes and strategise accordingly.”