Interview: Specialized Enduro Factory Racer Anneke Beerten
With the whole mountain biking community embracing enduro, many exciting rumors are doing the rounds about legendary riders moving from DH and XC to battle in the brave new enduro arena. Some exciting news recently popped onto the desk of the Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series, when we received the announcement that a current World Champion was planning to race. This was good news for two reasons, not only is it great for the sport to have title holders racing, but also because the rider in question is always a true pleasure to have around. Dutch gravity queen Anneke Beerten has just released the news that she will be competing as an enduro racer in 2013. Her schedule includes races from the Enduro World Series and events from the Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series and selected other events. With her multi discipline background she will certainly be one of the racers to watch out for the overall title.
We had a chat with Anneke about her plans for 2013.
ENDURO: First of all, congratulations for winning your 2nd World Champions title in fourcross in Leogang last year. It is an amazing achievement to pull over another rainbow jersey, what does this mean to you?
AB: Thanks! Winning the World Championships for the second year in a row was just amazing. It took me a long time, a lot of dedication and hard training before I finally won the World Champs in 2011 and then to win it again last year was just crazy.
ENDURO: You grew up on a BMX bike, raced downhill in the legendary BeOne Team, impressed everybody in the Fourcross by winning all important title and spiced up the XC Eliminator World Cup. With your announcement that you will be racing Enduro in 2013, does this mean your fans will no longer see you at Fourcross and XC Eliminators?
AB: The main goal for 2013 will be the Enduro World Series, but I will still be racing a couple of major 4x races, World Championships 4X and some small xc races at home. Unfortunately it looks like I won’t be racing any XC Eliminator races; I was unable to find the fun factor in that discipline and to me riding and racing should be fun!
ENDURO: What Enduro races are on your season plan?
AB: At the moment we are still finalizing our schedule with the team, but you will see me at the major events, the Enduro World Series, some Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series races and a couple of fourcross races. So enough on the schedule to keep me busy!
ENDURO: You were at the final race of the Superenduro series in Finale Ligure 2012, but you did not race. What happened there?
AB: I had a big face plant in practice! The day before racing I totally misjudged a drop, and I went over the bars head first into the ground! I was seeing stars and kept asking the same questions to my roommate, so I figured it was better not to race with a minor concussion :) But it was still a great weekend; I got a good taste of how the Enduro races work and how the vibe was with all the riders. Also the organization in Finale Ligure was extremely professional and the organizers knew how to run a race. So after that weekend I knew I wanted to make the step to racing Enduro.
ENDURO: What other experiences in Enduro Racing do you have?
AB: None…. So I better start racing!
ENDURO: What is the Team called this season? Can you give us more information about your sponsors?
AB: I am pleased to announce that I will be racing for the Specialized Factory Racing Team. Together with Kurtis Keene from the USA we will form the Specialized Enduro team. It’s great to be back on Specialized, a company that is just like me, passionate about riding bikes. Specialized makes some amazing Enduro & Trail bikes, so it great that they decided to set up an Enduro team and I am proud to be a part of that. At the moment beside Specialized, SRAM, Rock Shox, Avid, Truvativ, Oakley and Alpinestars will be supporting me in 2013.
ENDURO: Is there any specific terrain or any location you like to ride the most with your Enduro bike?
AB: There are so many amazing locations around the globe that I’ve already traveled to and rode my bike. I love riding in Canada, south of France, Italy but most of all, California! You can ride all year around and there is an amazing variety of trails and difficulty.
ENDURO: So you are in California at the moment, what is your training program there and who are your training partners?
AB: The training program is pretty intense at the moment; I am spending a lot of hours on the bike and most of them on the Enduro. I know it will take a lot of training before becoming a decent Enduro racer, and as I’ve been off the DH bike for a couple of years I am working on my technical skills a lot. Next to riding Enduro you can find me 3 times a week in the gym to work on my strength. I am also riding my road bike a lot to build endurance and speed recovery, riding BMX for skills, gates and sprints and when I have some time left I like to ride dirt bikes! The first 3 weeks here I’ve been training with the National BMX team of Bas de Bever, it’s a great team and training is fun with such a motivated group like the Dutch BMX-ers. The last couple of weeks I’ve just been riding with friends over here.
ENDURO: Have you heard any more rumors of other riders making the jump to Enduro? Riders often know more than the most informed PR desk, Marielle Saner for example is another promising rider with DH and XC background?
AB: I’ve read that Justin Leov will also be making the switch to Enduro racing, and I am pretty sure we will see some more big names showing up at some of the Enduro World Series. But other than that no other gossip that I know of.
ENDURO: You must already know some of the competitors who race the Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series?
AB: Yes, I do know some of the girls that are already racing the Specialized-SRAM Enduro Series. It’s great to see so many girls already racing Enduro and I am confident that this will grow in the next couple of years. Enduro is fun to do and I think it is a lot less scary for Girls to start racing Enduro than for example DH races, downhill tracks can sometimes be very intimidating for girls.
ENDURO: You should know Willingen pretty well, will you just be entering the Enduro race there or more competitions like the fourcross?
AB: At the moment it’s just Enduro. When the official schedule will be released I will take a look to see if it will be possible to enter the 4X or DH race as well. I may get to start with the one in Treuchtlingen, but nothing is set in stone yet.
ENDURO: What trails or bikepark do you love to ride?
AB: I love riding in the Lake Garda area; I’ve been there a couple a times before and I’m looking forward to race the Enduro series there. I also like Willingen and Winterberg, the parks are compact and you just get a lot of riding in just one day! But on top of my bike-park list is still Whistler in Canada…. that is a bikers paradise.
ENDURO: Do you have any trails at home?
AB: Nope…. not really, you cannot really call them trails in Holland, it’s just to flat :)
What bike will you race on?
Specialized Enduro 26″, Specialized Stumpjumper 29″, 4-cross Specialized P3
Who works on your bike?
The very famous & handsome Benno Willeit.
Do you perform other sports?
Yes, I’m a very active Catan player.
How do you spend time off the bike?
With my legs up recovering, also studying for my upcoming sports nutrition exam.
What music is on you iPod?
While typing this I am listing to a DJ Psychology, Dr. Dre remix –> https://soundcloud.com/psychology (check it out, great free music from one of my favorite DJ’s)
TV or book?
Magazine or web?
Last movie you have seen in cinema?
The one with Tom Cruise…. uhh, Top Gun. Oh no wait…… Jack Reacher.
Do you watch bike films on the web?
Any good ones you remember? Yes, I do. I love watching other people shred! I just watched Where the Trail ends & ‘the miserable champion’ from Shaun Palmer
Interview: Uwe Buchholz / www.enduroseries.net Photos: Robertson/VeloDramatic and Anneke Beerten
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