EF Education-TIBCO-SVB are pleased to announce that Dutch former speed skater, Femke Beuling has signed with the team. The 23-year-old will make her professional road racing debut at la Vuelta Femenina next month.
Femke spent three years as a professional speed skater, becoming the junior world champion in the 500-metre event in 2018. During her skating career, cycling became a consistent component of her training, one that she found herself enjoying more and more. When a persistent foot injury led Femke to reconsider her future as a speed skater, she turned her sights to bike racing, knowing that the explosive power she had developed on the skating track would serve her well in the peloton.
“Last summer, when I knew the extent of my foot injury, I focused more on cycling and on racing,” Femke says. “I was really enjoying that. I started to properly train for bike races. I felt an improvement every time I did a race. So when I decided to quit speed skating, I was really sure that I wanted to see how far I can go on the bike.”
Femke is certainly off to a great start. She has been racing domestically in the Netherlands this season and in four races, she has claimed two wins and another two podiums. She knows exactly how she achieved these results.
“Definitely my sprint is my strength as a cyclist. The explosiveness, the power.”
Linda Jackson, team founder and owner, cites Femke’s power as part of the Dutchwoman’s appeal. “When I received an email from Femke’s agent last September about a Dutch speed skater he was working with, I was instantly intrigued,” Linda says. “She fits the mould of the type of rider we like to target. She is an accomplished person outside of cycling. She is relatively new to cycling with tremendous potential, and I could see the determination she had to succeed in cycling. Within days of that email, we had invited her to our December training camp in California. Femke instantly fit in well with the team. She has a wonderful personality and a confident demeanour. Her bike skills are great, and we witnessed her powerful sprint. Great sprinters are hard to come by, so we decided to invest early and bring her onto the team. We are looking forward to working with her as she enters the WWT peloton.”
Though she loves being an athlete, Femke appreciated seeing how her teammates all had interests beyond racing and this helped her decide to join the team.
“The team invited me to the camp in California last December, so I met everyone then. I really didn’t know what to expect, but it was really fun to ride with them. I think the team has been missing a dedicated sprinter so I’ll fit in well. And the group is such a nice mix of different people from different countries. I saw everybody working on their own personal development as well, like the women who study or those who draw really nicely and things like that. In speed skating, there were a lot of people who didn’t study or do anything besides speed skating. And that makes your world really small.”
Femke’s world is anything but small. In addition to her past as a top level speed skater and her new chapter as a pro cyclist, she recently earned her bachelor’s degree in medicine.
“It took me some extra time to finish my degree and sometimes the balance between studying and skating was challenging, but it was really good for me to do something besides speed skating. To be focused on something else and not to think about only training, just to switch your mind to something completely different. I knew I wanted to study and medicine was something I always found really interesting. My goal is that it will be a few more years until I dedicate myself to medicine because I plan to be busy with cycling first.”
Femke’s first race with the team will be la Vuelta Femenina, a seven-day stage race across Spain beginning on May 1st. We can’t wait to cheer her on!