Caroline Buchanan never had a strong cycling role model when she was growing up. But the 5 x Mountain Bike Four Cross World Champion (and 3 x BMX World Champion, but who’s counting) is giving today’s young female riders the best chance possible to succeed. It’s called IGN!TE, a scholarship program “to ignite girls dreams, visibility and support for two-wheel action sports.” A recent recipient of the Ignite scholarship is 13-year-old Marzocchi rider Indiana “Indi” Lambert. Indi wasn’t just able to attend and compete at Crankworx 2023 in Cairns but came home with a handful of medals.
"Getting to compete at Crankworx was the biggest event of my MTB career so far," says the young Australian. "I met so many people from the mountain bike world, rode a bunch of new tracks and just had so much fun! It was an atmosphere I had never experienced before.”
With a gold medal in the Dual Slalom, silver in the Downhill and a bronze in the Pumptrack, Indi is already showing promise in her U15 age category. Spotting talent has become a skill of Buchanan’s, who first spied Indi at an Aussie mountain resort in Thredbo.
“Indi stood out to me when I followed her down the trail and could barely keep up," recalls Buchanan. “I knew she had a champion mindset, awesome skills and a determination in her that reminded me of my 13-year-old self. When Indi‘s application came through and she wanted to compete at her first Crankworx, I knew that the alignment of Marzocchi and the Australian Crankworx coming up was the perfect combination to give her my mentorship and support.”
Buchanan first launched her female mentorship program in 2014 with a performance-based scholarship to help young female BMX racers get to a World Championship event. Since then, IGN!TE has raised over $120,000 and now includes mountain bike and motocross disciplines.
“The most important part is these girls knowing that I believe in their talent, I believe in their career and that I’m here for them as a mentor through the highs and lows," said Buchanan. “The IGN!TE scholarship athletes learn how to approach and execute a project and how to manage a budget. They learn the value of servicing a sponsor and how to deliver contract deliverables, how to network with photographers and videographers, produce solid content and tell their story.”
With her first Crankworx in the books, Indi’s story is very much in its opening chapter. With support from Marzocchi and ongoing mentorship from Buchanan, we expect to see a lot more of this young Australian rider in the future.
“Caroline has been nothing short of amazing,” said Indi. “She is always supporting me and keeping me calm and focused. I feel like anything is possible with her in my corner. She is my inspiration!”