Peloton Watch
  Bernette Beyers Blog: Podium finishes continue with racing in Switzerland and France  
  October 12th By Bernette Beyers  
  Bernette Beyers. Photo: © Union Cycliste Internationale  
  Back after my two weeks of holiday, fist holiday since I started this amazing journey of being a full time track sprinter.

My orders from my coach for the holiday was NO TRAINING…. But, that’s not a holiday for me. Usually my holiday is more a training camp as taking rest. I secretly had a few coffee rides on my bike and I may have done two or three gym session, nothing to the extreme, it's just to get the blood flowing.

It was good seeing my family and spending time at the farm and working on my socializing skills that I felt needed work after few months intensive training.

Back to Switzerland…

After two weeks of hard training, I was not happy, mentally or physically, was it a good idea taking a holiday? Was two weeks off too much? I keep thinking about if the holiday did me any good, from not having a holiday in more then 20 months and then from doing nothing for two weeks, thinking to myself, did my body just shut down completely.

My times where slow, my legs did not cope with the hard training, I was negative and to be honest, I was sad. All that hard work from before the holiday was for nothing. Feeling I was in such good shape and thinking the holiday will do me wonders, did the opposite. If I knew that the holiday would give me such disadvantage I would have not taken a holiday.

I know my body does need its rest at some point; it is just something I have to teach myself being a newbie in track cycling and full time athlete. After time I will learn how my body copes to different recovery strategy and rest periods.

After being at the center for three weeks, training with Nicky Degrendele from Belgium and making a new friend made things positive for me, I enjoyed training with her and pushing each other on the track and gym, she may be young but I learned a lot from her, having years of experience.

I had some racing lying ahead. I was positive thinking that it will be just what I needed to get back on track and give my legs a wake-up call but at the same time I was not looking forward to seeing how much work I needed and how far behind I was.

Grenchen being the first race on Thursday, only doing the sprint. Being familiar with this race I knew it was a very small race with no big competition, I can just enjoy myself and really get into it. Finishing the night of with a win in the sprint, now for the weekend racing in Bourges, Coupe de France Fenioux Piste 3. The nerves started, knowing what girls I will be racing against from previous races.

It was a long drive from 6-7 hours, managed to get on the track when arriving to loosen the legs. The track was 200m (happy as I am currently training on a 200m track in Aigle at the World Cycling Center) the banking was longer and the straights was very short, making race tactics very important as it’s very hard to pass on this track.

Qualifing went better then expected, new race PB of 11.32 and a new South African record, not by much but that means I was progressing. Was hoping sprinting in the late 11.10. Having qualified second I was confident.

I managed to take the first match sprint and went straight to the semi finals that was held late evening.

My First match Sprint that evening was against Helena Casas, this girl has a lot of power, unfortunately she took the win in both heats. I was now sprinting it out for third place against Méllisandre Pain, going along side her we bumped a few times and I just remember my coach always saying, “keep your line Bernette and you need to be a bit more aggressive staying there.”

We were going pretty fast and we bumped again and I just see her flying over her handle bars and me trying to keep my handlebars straight and not going down with her, I managed to stay up, but Méllisandre had a hard crash. We ended up not racing again because of her injury.

It was not the way I wanted to take the third place that night, but it's track cycling, always unexpected.

Finishing off the competition with another third place in the keirin before a long drive back to Aigle, I was more determined then ever to get back to training the next week and give it my everything.
 © 2016