Catherine Colyn will get her first taste of racing in Europe when she lines up for the Tour de Feminin in the Czech Republic on Thursday.
The 21-year-old from Paarl near Cape Town is now based in Valkenburg, Netherlands, and will race at UCI level with the Maaslandster international team for the next three months.
Her first outing is a 2.2 UCI rated event that finishes on Sunday.
Her immediate goals, she said today, were to learn as much as possible by absorbing everything she could.
“I want to learn as fast as I can so that I can get some good results. I hope to get on the podium in local races and maybe in the top 20 in UCI events.”
Colyn said it had been her dream to race internationally and she was grateful for the opportunity she had received.
“It’s a huge learning curve. I’ll just try to do better in every race, to learn from mistakes, train harder and work on my weaknesses so that I can perform for my team.
“This is something I’ve been striving for. In the long run my main goal is to compete on the world tour.”
Asked about the challenges she faced, she said: I’m away from my comfort zone and must establish a routine for myself.
“And even though Afrikaans and Dutch are very similar, my understanding is lacking a bit at times.”
Colyn, who left for Europe last week, is looking forward to racing with the team.
“It’s really awesome to be in a team environment in which everyone is 100 per cent committed to giving it their all. It’s great to be in a place where everyone is uplifting each other and where there’s positivity all the time.
“I’m also excited about being in Europe, travelling, seeing new places and just experiencing life on a different level,” she said.