Interview: Anneke Beerten

Jan 11, 2015 at 15:08
by Lauren Jenkins  


Enduro World Series 5

Anneke Beerten is a true chameleon of the sport - riding and racing ever since she could walk, the majority of her life has been spent on two wheels. Born in the Netherlands, by the age of three she was riding, going on to compete in BMX a year later when a friend of the family suggested her dad should take her to a local BMX track.

Despite early success, it wasn't until she was 22 that she gave up her job to focus on racing full time. Thanks to the support of friends, family and sponsors, her love of bikes never diminished and she was able to live her dream, going on to achieve a number of podium finishes and attracting the attention of 'Be-one,' a Dutch mountain bike team who she raced for until 2003.

Multiple World Champ in both BMX and 4X, Anneke raced XC and DH before transitioning to Enduro in 2013. As someone who has been riding bikes her entire life, she has a pivotal role in women's mountain biking and has competed at the top level in multiple disciplines, displaying incredible skill and fitness. Never one to shy from a challenge, Anneke's move from 4x to enduro has since shown that her years of experience make her a strong competitor. Placing fourth overall in the 2014 Enduro World Series and fifth overall in her first year is proof that she is a consistent podium threat. Looking to 2015 she talks about where it all began, the highs and lows, switching to enduro and her career to date.

bigquotesMy parents never pushed me. They've always supported me. I made sure my bike was clean, put it on the car before training, and did work around the house, so they would have time to drive me three times a week to the bmx track and go to races on Sunday
Anneke Beerten

You’ve been riding for a long time, but how did it all start?

I started riding at the age of three, just doing endless laps around the house from dusk to dawn. A friend of my dad's told him to take me to the local bmx track to see if I would like it. And that's where it all started. I did my first bmx race at the age of four and from that moment on, I was hooked on riding and racing.

When did you realize that it was a potential career path for you?

It was not until I was 15 that I started riding international bmx races, I had won a bunch of national titles, but then I went to the World Champs BMX in England and I won my first World Title. A year later, I went to Canada and won the World Champs again. So, I knew I was doing pretty well at the time. At that point, I also got an offer from the Be One mountain bike team. They were looking for a girl with some skills and they thought I was a good candidate for that. And from that moment, I did my first DH race and I knew that is what I wanted to do and become pro in.

How do you think the early support from family and sponsors helped develop you as a racer?

Without the support of them I would have been nowhere! My parents never pushed me. They've always supported me. I made sure my bike was clean, put it on the car before training, and did work around the house, so they would have time to drive me three times a week to the bmx track and go to races on Sunday. (I think my parents were pretty stoked when I turned 18 and got my driving license..haha) Sponsors believed in my talent, gave me their products and even paid for my travelling so I could chase my dreams and realize my goals.

Anneke Beerten

Who or what has inspired you throughout your career?

I've always been inspired by the people I've been around. I rode a lot with Joost Wichman when I was younger. Riding with boys definitely helped develop my skills and these days I'm trying to chase Curtis Keene and Mitch Ropelato down the hill, and they both inspire me to get faster. But, I'm also still inspired by Tracy Moseley and Anne Caro Chausson. It was pretty awesome to beat them both for the first time ever this year. This keeps me pushing hard to become faster. Ever since I was younger, I dreamed of winning the rainbow jersey. It did not matter if I saw somebody winning it in BMX, road cycling or track, that's what I wanted. It took me many years, but in 2011, I finally won the rainbow stripes!

Looking back at your career, what stands out in your mind as the best and worst moments?

Worst... Uhm, I have two moments: leading the 4-cross finals in Livigno, Italy, until the last corner and then I got bummed out of the track by the girl behind me. I literally felt sick and had sleepless nights for weeks after for leaving the inside line open. And then my crash in Leogang at World Champs two years ago trying to hit the biggest double ever and coming short, big time! Blew up my wheel and luckily enough, I walked away a bit dizzy and with a bruised leg. Best moment: winning World Champs 4-cross in Champery, Switzerland. After many years of failing, I finally did it.

Anneke Beerten

When the UCI announced it was dropping 4x from the racing calendar in 2012, what impact did it have on the discipline, and how did you feel as the newly crowned World Champ?

I was really bummed because I knew 4-cross has its potential. But for myself, I was already looking for a new challenge and when one door closes, you have to make sure to open another one.

You had a fantastic season, winning the Specialized-SRAM Enduro series, two podiums and a fourth overall at the Enduro World Series, a win at Sea Otter Downhill among other amazing results. How do you feel, looking back on 2014?

It was a blast and so much fun! If people only could see how much fun I have in the Specialized team. Riding with Curtis makes me faster. My mechanic Paddy is the most positive guy ever, and I have the best bikes and support in the world from Specialized, SRAM, and all my other sponsors. To me, it is very important to have fun while travelling and riding. This has shown in my results. Off course, I train my ass off and spend hours suffering in the gym and on the bike training, but in the end, it is my passion and something I just love doing.

Anneke Beerten

You travelled to some pretty incredible spots last year with the EWS and the Specialized-SRAM Enduro, what were the highs and lows from the season?

Highlight was definitely going to Chile, for the first EWS round of the season. It was so amazing to ride on that continent and meeting people there, and riding the trails. The whole trip was just a mission as well - lots of different flights, hanging out in airports and driving 'till three at night after the race to catch another flight back home. The low was definitely the weather in Europe. We had so much rain at the races. Mud everywhere - still picking it out of my hair now... ughh.

If you could summarize racing the EWS, what was it like for you - from the discipline itself to the different tracks?

It's mentally and psychically very challenging, but that is one thing I like about it. I like to suffer and to find my limits. It is not a walk in the park, that's for sure. But, the vibe at the races is just amazing. All the girls get along and we all support each other on the hard epic days. The EWS races take me to the most beautiful places in the world and I get to shred there on my bike. Not one weekend, not one trail will be the same. You will need to be able to adapt to all of it.

Anneke Beerten

You’ve raced pretty much every discipline there is. Do you have a favourite?

No. I like and love all of them. As long as I am on wheels I'm good. Although, now I think of it, Cross-Country Eliminator was not a whole lot of fun.

Will you continue to focus on enduro in 2015?

Yes. I have the feeling I can still improve quite a bit in Enduro. This was only my second season and I've been learning something every single race. Enduro definitely takes some experience.

Anneke Beerten

Having never raced enduro before 2013, what was the transition from 4x to Enduro like, and do you think your background in XC and DH was a contributing factor to your success?

A little bit, yes. Enduro is still a different piece of cake to be honest. I definitely learned a lot of stuff the hard way the first year. I was not consistent at all, I even had a DNF because I got lost on the trail in the middle of the Alps... haha! Or, I would sprint out of the start like I was racing a 4x race, but then my legs would blow up after a minute, when I still had like 15 minutes of trail ahead of me. But of course, the overall riding skills and experience helped me getting down the hill in one piece.

As you’ve been riding and racing for a number of years, have you had the opportunity to get involved with projects or product development in the industry?

Yes, definitely. I work very closely with the people at Specialized in all departments. They take my feedback very seriously and we as racers are able to test products to the max. I'm also on the Sram BlackBox program and work closely with them. The most recent product I've developed is with Alpinestars; the Evolution jacket.

Views: 5,327    Faves: 8    Comments: 0

How long have you been riding for Specialized and how have things changed as you’ve moved to different disciplines?

I rode for Specialized back in 2004 to 2006, in both Downhill and 4-cross. Then Specialized stopped that gravity program. I've always stayed in good contact with them and when I told them I wanted to make the move to Enduro, they took me back on board in 2013 for their Enduro team. The major changes are training and equipment. After many years of sprint training on a simple hardtail bike, I went to long five-hour rides and bikes that had a lot more suspension and technology to them.

You’re featured in the 2015 Cyclepassion calendar. How did you get involved and what the experience like?

I got asked by Cyclepassion to be in their tenth anniversary calendar for 2015. I was already familiar with the calendar, but I first wanted to know what their ideas for the 2015 calendar were going to be. When doing something like that, I wanna be sure that I feel comfortable with it. We, as Mountain bike girls, always wear racing gear, helmets and you hardly see us in high heels. This calendar is a great opportunity to show we are well trained athletes and true females.

Anneke Beerten

Going back to your career, what do you see yourself doing in the next few years? Will you continue to race, or is there something else you’d like to do?

That's always a hard question to answer for me. I love riding, racing and traveling. At the moment, I want to continue racing for a couple more years. After that, I would love to stay involved in the biking or with one of my sponsors in the industry.... not a desk job though, I really can't sit still.

Outside of racing and riding, what do you enjoy?

Eating and sleeping.

Anneke Beerten

What are your plans for the off season?

I'm in the middle of my off season now and I spent most of it training in California. Holland is still home for me, but in the winter time there is not much I can do when it comes to riding, training and getting faster. California is the perfect place for me. Specialized is based here, I can ride trails right outside my front door, race some local XC and DH races, ride the Oakley Pumptrack (which is next door), and also ride MX.

What do you have planned for 2015?

Winning and having fun.

Anneke Beerten

bigquotesShout out to everyone that has been a part of my journey so far. There are too many people to name who have been a part of my success, and helping me realize my goals and dreams to name in this interview. But, most of them know who they are. Keep on riding and make sure to live life, dream big and keep chasing them! XO - Anneke

Follow her Journey


MENTIONS: @Specialized @AlpinestarsMTB @SramMedia

Author Info:
laurenjenkins avatar

Member since Jan 10, 2012
105 articles

  • 62 0
 'Outside of racing and riding, what do you enjoy?

Eating and sleeping.'

Interview gold.
  • 4 0
 Exactly my kind of girl Big Grin
  • 5 0
 She can freestyle football too.
  • 26 0
 As Mister McQueen famously said: “Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting.”
  • 6 0
 She is soooo cute!!!
  • 62 2
 In a world of Kardashians, young girls need more exposure to positive and dedicated people like Anneke.
  • 9 0
 ^This guy is on the money, double props to you sir
  • 5 0
  • 26 0
 Mega props to her. Always been my favourite female rider. Apologies to tracy, ffion and rachel lol. P.s. the ending of 4x was a terrible move by the Uci, in my opinion.
  • 4 0
 Absolutely agree with you regarding the ending of WC 4x. This was quite a show!
  • 54 30
 Best looking female on mountain bike out there.
  • 23 18
 Shouldn't say stuff like that on pinkbike, the comments section sexist police, men-femme, or whatever name you would like to give them, will chastise you! Pielpic and gav-b in particular.
  • 12 16
flag tobiusmaximum (Jan 21, 2015 at 3:14) (Below Threshold)
 Well said cali. He was on neg 3 pretty quickly and I almost rambled on about this very point. Pleased to see he's back on an even keel. Pretty innocent statement.
  • 11 6
 She's also a very nice person. Not a stuck-up mega-star.
  • 13 9
 Stop talking about my girlfriend like that
  • 13 13
 my late Christmas present to you all
  • 8 12
flag peanutbuter (Jan 21, 2015 at 6:12) (Below Threshold)
 your welcome
  • 16 24
flag BertieK1 (Jan 21, 2015 at 6:32) (Below Threshold)
 It's not an innocent comment. The first comment on an interview about someone's career should not be one overlooking everything in the interview to sum up her achievements based on her looks. She doesn't need or want your approval of her looks to justify her incredible career.
  • 6 12
flag tjet (Jan 21, 2015 at 6:36) (Below Threshold)
 Wrong.. Best looking female on a MTB is called Claudia Clement... Disagree? Look her up..
  • 15 12

Where are you getting all that from? He simply said he thinks she's attractive. Not 'f*ck her achievements', not, 'all that matters is her face'.
And where does 'approval of her looks to justify blah blah' fit into it?

She's gotta plenty of dudes like you, championing her incredible career. Because, according to you, that's what she wants and needs right? Guess what, she doesn't want or need you to call it an 'incredible career'. She has a trophy cabinet and sponsors for that.

Wind your neck in.

P.s. it's the first comment because.. duh duh duuuuh... It's popular.
  • 6 14
flag nvranka (Jan 21, 2015 at 7:19) (Below Threshold)

Calm your tits.
  • 7 20
flag BertieK1 (Jan 21, 2015 at 7:33) (Below Threshold)
 How is a comment saying 'Best looking female on mountain bike out there.' not judging her solely on looks?

A comment about her looks shouldn't be relevant. She's in the sport because she loves it and wants to achieve and not have some stranger on the internet tell her she's good looking. Someone at the top of their sport would want to be judged on their accomplishments not on something as shallow as their looks.

The article is on her career, not on her appearance which is why why we should be discussing her career. She's put too much time and effort into becoming one of the best in the world for people to just talk about how she looks and not about how amazing her career is and will be in the future and how much she has achieved.

I admit my perception of his comment may be off from what he meant it to mean but it says nothing of her as a person or her riding.
And no I will not 'wind my neck in' because you disagree with me.
  • 6 12
flag CaliCol (Jan 21, 2015 at 7:47) (Below Threshold)
 Peanutbutter, I believe your video tipped the tide in favor of the pinkbikians for freedom in the pinkbikians for freedom versus the anal-retentive-comments-police-man-femme thugs. I didn't notice if annneke beer ten was in it. Doesn't matter, dudes who have a cow over men making comments about the attractiveness of a female need to lighten up. They shouldn't worry, Mike Levy will write a hypocritical article about this defending the anal-retentive-comments-police-man-femme thugs, slamming pinkbikians for freedom, but being no better than us for writing an article of that nature. Calicol, out.
  • 4 11
flag tobiusmaximum (Jan 21, 2015 at 7:49) (Below Threshold)
 I can't be arsed to address your swiss cheese. It would need too much time and space. But one thing I will say is do you seriously think someone at the top of anything gives a shit about any of our judgement? And if you'd wanted to discuss her career maybe you'd have come up with a comment about said career. Even possibly one to challenge chyu's in popularity. But no, nothing. Just thrashing chyu for calling her attractive. Wind your neck in lol.
  • 3 13
flag peanutbuter (Jan 21, 2015 at 7:54) (Below Threshold)
 what are we talking about are we not aloud to talk about female sexuality
  • 4 17
flag BertieK1 (Jan 21, 2015 at 8:22) (Below Threshold)
 If you think ogling at women is 'freedom' then fine. You're doing a great job making this a welcoming place for new female riders that want to be judged as people not as pretty things to be stared at.
  • 7 11
flag tobiusmaximum (Jan 21, 2015 at 8:39) (Below Threshold)
 Bertie. I dare you to watch peanutbuters link. I dare you. It's a whole host of female riders... And for some of it, they're being 'sexy'. For cameras. What do you make of that? If it didn't totally melt your brain. Can you slate them now for objectification of themselves?
  • 4 10
flag jozefk (Jan 21, 2015 at 9:07) (Below Threshold)
 You guys have too much energy....
  • 2 13
flag BertieK1 (Jan 21, 2015 at 9:17) (Below Threshold)
 I recognise that they are in that video through choice (even if a little pushed by sponsors to cater a male dominated sport). But they aren't objectifying themselves, you are doing the objectifying. They're accomplished athletes that look good.

If they want to pose for photos like that then that's fine, they should be able to do so without fear of me or anyone judging them on that choice. You can appreciate someone being attractive, their career and personality all at the same time but my original comment was made because the top comment ignored all of it apart from what she looks like.

In retrospect, I can see that maybe my comments were a little too extreme on one side and some of what I wrote doesn't make too much sense. Basically I just think people should be commenting about the interview in the article rather than being like omg m8 ur so fit. (and maybe less feminist arguments, sorry...)
  • 4 1
 tobiusmaximum - best comment ever. These "blokes" who can't handle a slight amount of blue veined steak banter need to harden up, get off the web (not wanking over girls) as it would seem and ride more (women bikes or men dependent on what you prefer) then they'd have less pent up aggression! It's like anti male-ism!! I also don't ever see girls doing anti girlism!! To any of you that neg prop these guys, pop your tampon back in, your skirt back on and jog on! The girl you are defending is harder than you are for sure!!! (And she won't find that attractive either)!

Good work lass, you remind me of Palmer (high praise) as you make biking look cool, which most people don't these days!! Keep it up!! :-)
  • 20 6
 "No. I like and love all of them. As long as I am on wheels I'm good.”

Love that answer! If only more people here would try other disciplines and understand what they are all about, instead of just bashing them for wearing lycra or because it's simply not DH. Open your mind, release the mental shackles of primitive human emotions and tribalism. Enjoy ALL that life has to offer.

Motocross, road cycling, downhill, freeride, dirt jumping, all mountain. I've done it all, and it's all fun. Two wheels for life!
  • 3 0
 that sir I agree with you, but moto is still out of my reach Smile
  • 8 2
 Never read many interviews but for anneke I make an exception, wish her all the best for the coming season.
  • 6 0
 Class act .
  • 2 1
 so she is in Socal now, next to Oakley trail, now Oakley trail is closed for construction. I wish I could meet her in that area, and take selfie together. Hi Anneke, if you read this, I will ride STT - Luge on Friday night with a group, hope you can join us, meet at Cook's Corner at 7pm. I am sure you know where it is. good luck on your racing career.
  • 5 1
 Good exposure for Anneke!
  • 2 0
 I didn't really know who she was before reading this article but now she's easily one of my most favorite mountain bike riders. Not just women riders but riders in general.
  • 4 0
 lekker dingWink
  • 3 0
 such a ripper on any kind of bike. go anneke
  • 3 0
 the old photo of her with bmx bike and trophy is adorable
  • 1 0
 As a Dutchman, I've always cheered on Anneke, but reading the interview made me more of a fan! Awesome to see such versatile, riders, I hope she has a big season in 2015!
  • 2 1
 "I can ride trails right outside my front door, race some local XC and DH races, ride the Oakley Pumptrack (which is next door)". That's called a dream job!
  • 7 5
 Always a pleasure to see Anneke and Enduro 29 Big Grin Good luck in 2015!
  • 1 0
 Cant wait to watch all these awesome atheletes in RotoVegas in a few weeks, braaaap
  • 1 0
 I remember Anneke as "porky springs", the name she entered at a non-UCI sanctioned enduro
  • 1 0
 Come back out for a wed ride in Laguna. ..wear black Smile
  • 2 1
 The new jacket is just perfect for stealth alcoholics.
  • 2 1
 ik hou van jou
  • 5 0
  • 1 1
 Aneke's da man!......Wait.

Copyright © 2000 - 2023. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.028185
Mobile Version of Website