Current South African National Champion in the Sprint, Keirin, 500m and Team Sprint, Bernette Beyers is blossoming in Europe and pushing herself to become as great as she can be. Beyers recently took part in the Coupe De France Fenioux Piste in Paris from 20-21 May, where she impressed not only herself, but also the track community back home.
The UCI Category 1 event at the weekend was a first ever for Beyers. The first day of the race, Beyers broke her own National Record in the Sprint, from 11.78 seconds to 11.358 seconds and finished eighth overall against some of the world’s top track stars. Great Britain, France and Belgium also had their Olympic teams competing in the event.
On the Saturday, she took part in the Keirin and after qualifying third in the semi-finals, she made it to the finals and placed sixth overall against the strongest of competition.
The 24 -year-old has only been cycling on the track for a year and a half, but seems to have found her place very quickly. She has now based herself at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, where she receives the world’s best coaching. She has seen a dramatic improvement in her racing ability and is further down the road to achieving her Track Cycling goals.
“Being here at the World Cycling Centre has changed my life tremendously, in so many ways. I can truly say I have found myself and who I really am. I’m not trying to be somebody else, I am the best me I have been in a long time. Looking back two years, I had no direction in life,” she said.
“In the beginning I thought it was going to take a while to adjust to this new life; it took me about a week and I was like, ‘I could do this every single day’,” she added.
Beyers said that the World Cycling Centre has taught her a great deal of discipline and self control. “It's not for every athlete. It's definitely not a holiday - it's hard work. At the end though, it all comes down to you. Having the best coaches, equipment and routine won't help you if you don't give it 100 percent every single day. You could walk out here after three months with the same results, or you could have progressed massively – it’s up to you,” she said.
Her commitment to the sport has become evident through her outstanding results of late, and her “go-get-em” attitude.
“This is my life at the moment and I wouldn’t change anything. I told my coach yesterday I was sore and that I could feel every muscle in my body. He told me “good, that means you’re getting stronger” and then it was back to gym, with no sympathy. And it works for me as it teaches me to work through the pain and not to complain,” she laughed.