Karen Brouwer (34) and Ramses Bekkenk (47) are leaving the KMC mountain bike team after twelve and eighteen years respectively. Over the years, both mountain bikers have achieved great victories for the team both nationally and internationally on the mountain bike and on the beach, but now think it is time to take it easy.
‘I will continue to compete, but with less training and less frequently than before. I joined the team in 2006 and had a wonderful time with the team and have seen the whole world over the past eighteen years. I look back with great pleasure on the wonderful adventures and my victories in the Transschwarzwald, The Munga, Offroad Finnmark 700 and the national mountain bike marathon title in 2012,’ says Bekkenk.
‘Last year I won the Bart Brentjens Challenge after the birth of my first son and my plan was to resume the competitions this year after the birth of my second son, but that was a bit more difficult than expected. Just like Ramses, I also look back on a wonderful period with the team in which I won the Beskidy MTB Trophy, Cape Pioneer Trek and 4Islands MTB race, among others. At the national marathon championship I managed to win two silver and three bronze medals. That gold medal may come later when the children are older because I’m still young,’ says Brouwer with a wink.
Team manager Martin Schuttert: ‘I look with respect at Karen and Ramses who have combined their work with top sport for years and, with the support of their family, managed to achieve good performances every year. It’s a shame that the collaboration is coming to an end, but sooner or later it’s time for everyone for a new chapter in life.