Video: Breaking Through to the Next Level in 'Make Your Mark' with Vaea Verbeeck

Mar 8, 2020
by SHIMANO  


Breaking through to the professional level is one of the hardest things to do in sports. Years of hard training, travelling to competitions far and wide and sustaining injuries await all those who wish to pursue a career as a professional mountain bike athlete. For Vaea Verbeeck, years of hard work and dedication left her within inches of a podium spot. In order to break through to the next level she had to take a step back and remember why she began racing in the first place.


bigquotes“I first got a taste for success a couple of years ago,” she says. “During my first decade of racing World Cup downhill I was fighting injuries, slogging away at rehab trying to climb back and never getting any noteworthy results on paper. It was frustrating, but I just had to tone it down and learn how to have a good time on my bike again.”Vaea Verbeeck

Enjoying time on the bike — while still remaining competitive — was key. In 2018, Verbeeck shifted her focus to the Crankworx World Tour, which over four stops around the world, featured a diverse line up of racing events including dual slalom, air downhill (racing down a jump/flow trail), a pump track challenge as well as a traditional downhill race. A year later, she walked away with the Queen of Crankworx title and her third Canadian National Downhill championship sleeve. Diversifying her skill set while reconnecting her passion of mountain biking has now resulted in a firm foothold in the world of professional mountain biking.


bigquotes“Even though I’ve won some events, I don’t feel like an expert by any means. Learning is always pretty cool. If you pick it up quickly you notice the progression and that’s really motivating. Mixing that with a win or a podium, that’s even more motivating. I get a lot of messages — even from close friends — that my success has inspired them.”Vaea Verbeeck

Now racing at the top of the sport and garnering invites to events such as Red Bull Formation (a female-only freeride competition in the spirit of Red Bull Rampage), Verbeeck is by no means resting on her laurels. The hard work persists both physically and mentally, as does her self examination of what’s important.


bigquotes“You have to want to get out there and ride,” she says. “You have to train and put in the time to work on your weaknesses. I hate it. I hate working on stuff that makes me feel slow and weak. I always find it hard to be satisfied with my own performance, but I also have to learn to chill, to just be okay with not being perfect. At the end of the day, I’m trying to just be okay with listening to what makes me happy. And as long as I'm happy on the bike, I’m riding at my best.”Vaea Verbeeck



29 Comments

  • 32 1
 Vaea rips!! Nice riding and you’re just at the beginning of your career. Keep it up and I’m sure the scene will see even bigger things from you
  • 18 1
 She looks strong. Exelent form on the bike. Canadian woman kick ass!
  • 13 1
 Growing up in Granby - 10km away from Bromont and then making the move out west when the time was right must ve also helped a lot to this succès !

Im stocked beyond words for Vaea !

Solid proof talent isn’t enough and playing it smart,being humble and respectful has its rewards !

We love you Vaea !
  • 10 1
 shes flying dirt jumper f*cking clipped? rad.
  • 7 1
 Amazing Athlete and rider. One of my favourite rider to watch. Wish you all the best for the season.
  • 6 0
 Cannot wait to show this to my daughter - Vaea is the real deal and a fantastic role model.
  • 7 1
 That was awesome! And inspiring. Go Vaea, rootin' for ya, girl!
  • 7 1
 Incredible video! Sick no hander!
  • 7 1
 Great video... so much style!!! More please.
  • 7 1
 Hell yeah, such a ripper!
  • 5 0
 She had me a 6 speed manual transmission in the A3! And such a powerful but smooth rider!
  • 5 1
 So amped on her right now!
  • 4 0
 SHREDDDERRRRR that vid was sick!!
  • 1 0
 Awesome video! Great to see all the positive support from the corporate sponsors and sharing the load equally among male and female riders. Where's the pump track... BC needs way more of these. Go Vaea!!
  • 4 1
 Nice video, she rips it on a bike, so fast and smooth.
  • 4 0
 That was awesome Vaea.
  • 3 0
 So much style and fast ! love this edit congratulation
  • 4 1
 The suiiiiii!!! So sick
  • 3 0
 Vaea you beast
  • 1 0
 I hope they are friends with Casey, Strong canadian duo will be famous more and more! keep it RAD guys!
  • 3 0
 She's pinned.
  • 1 0
 Would love to ride with Vaea for half a day, or even couple of hours. This should be a prize for a contest of some sort.
  • 2 0
 Also- DAMN her transitions are smooth...
  • 2 1
 Loved the last comment, which is me at 50.
  • 1 0
 Ted your pump track’s already on the big screen!! Smile
  • 2 0
 +10 for driving stick!!
  • 1 0
 Sick riding, great attitude!
  • 1 1
 Right on!
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