Beatriz Pereira is 19 years old, racing for spanish-based UCI Women’s Continental Team Bizkaia Durango, and already an accomplished badass.

Beatriz is rational, determined and ambitious. She has a bright mind, is easy to talk to and funny and open on her socials.

Her WhatsApp bio reads “Well behaved women don’t make history”, and if you follow her, you quickly get the impression that she intends to be of the history-making group.

Not only is she a cyclist, she also studies Biomedical Science at the School of Health in Porto. She chose to go to university because she says she can’t live from cycling alone, and she has always loved learning and studying, especially everything biology-related.

Combining training and university has been a challenging task for her. She used to wake up at 5am to begin training by 6am, then go to university at 9am and only make it back home at 8pm. She had to function just like every other student, alongside 15-20 hours of weekly training. She noticed this taking a toll on her sleep and mental health, which is why last year she decided to go a bit easier on her degree. And the results really show in her recent races.

Still, she will finish her degree and she does imagine herself working in this field as a second career after her cycling days. We hope that the science world will have to wait a bit for her though, because she truly is a promising young talent.

Beatriz won the national road race championships as a junior with ABTF Betão Bairrada Junior Cycling Team in 2021, and when she had to say goodbye to the team to be with Bizkaia Durango from the 2022 season on, she thanked them with the words:

“Um obrigado a esta família. Não tenho como agradecer tudo o que me ensinaram nestes 4 anos. Até sempre à minha segunda casa.”

(“Many thanks to this family. I can’t thank you enough for everything you have taught me in these 4 years. See you always as my second home.”)

In 2022, she came second in the National Elite Individual Time Trial Championship.

In 2023, she doubled down on this, and not only came second in the National Elite Road Race Championship, but also won the U23 classification. Oh, the same goes for the Individual Time Trial, by the way.

We can’t wait to see this amazing young rider develop more and more, and she will be an interesting watch on our screens during the upcoming races.

Beatriz Pereira - source: Instagram -

Beatriz, first of all, congratulations on winning the U23 classification in the national individual time trial and road race championships. You also came second in both Elite races, that is an impressive performance, and you deserve to be proud of it. How did that feel?

Thank you! Honestly it didn't sink in yet, it was such a crazy weekend. The TT went well because I was more than  one minute faster than last year. And the road race went honestly perfect, because they paced the only climb on the first lap and by the end of it I looked back and was the only U23 in a group of 10. And we had already, like, 30 seconds, so the goal from the first 15km was to increase the gap and maybe try something in the elite race. I was not super confident, but this definitely helped to give it a much-needed little boost.

In a tweet on Saturday, you made it public that the national federation did not want to do a single interview with you, and that the Portuguese anthem was not played for you because the men were waiting. How did you feel about this negligence when it happened, and how do you feel about it now?

I'm upset, not gonna lie. I'm not the complaining type and I saw a couple of things that bothered me a lot that weekend and I'm tired of that happening. I didn't say a word on Friday, despite the fact it was already disrespectful, but sometimes things are chaotic and it's ok if they didn't have time or were in a rush. But then Saturday was the same, not a single soul wanted an interview, and it's definitely not for being U23, because the boys had interviews and attention.

A couple of years ago, we didn't have enough girls to race separately, but this year we were almost 100 girls. But U17, U19, U23, elites and masters race at the same time. And they shouldn't because the race dynamic is completely different. It's ok if they want to make the girls and masters race at the same time. But U23 and elites should have their own race. It's more than time, we already have lots of girls racing in UCI teams, we can not keep doing the same over and over again.

What are the things that you would have liked to say in an interview immediately after the finish line?

I would have loved to say that the last couple of months were super hard and I really put a lot of thought into where is my place, if that is in cycling. I got sick with an infection by the end of April and ended up not racing in May, when the team has their busiest month in the calendar. And in the beginning of June an opportunity was given to me to do Vuelta Andalucía which was 5 days of UCI stage racing and it was a major challenge, especially since not doing a race in perfect form since March.

And after blood, sweat and tears I could find my way to enjoy cycling and to be able to fight for a win. All thanks to my family, my boyfriend and a couple of friends who supported me.

Portugal is known for having a major continental scene that is well supported and organised - for the men, that is. From an outsider's perspective, it looks like the women’s side is lagging behind, and your comments further confirm that impression. Do you know why that is?

I actually don't know why that is. Portugal is definitely not one of the richest countries in Europe. But the women's side is in fact really lagging behind compared to the men's. I guess we still have an old mentality towards female cycling, there are still little clubs, not much money and especially a lack of racing days, around 15 a year. [compared with around 80 for the men - editor’s note].

What is your view on this? What would you like them to do better?

I think, in the near future, we should have more race days, they should try to race in Spain which is right next to us and invest in the young girls, so they have enough tools to go further if they want to. It feels a little far to talk about UCI or WT teams. But I feel like having a UCI race would be fantastic.

What motivates you to keep going when your side of the sport is treated like this?

Outside Portugal, female cycling is much bigger so that doesn't apply as much. But I have been racing since I was 9, it's part of me. Most of the days training brings me peace and I'm going through a tough time but that was expected being a U23. I just keep working until things get better, always with a thought that they will get better.

You rode in the CIC-Tour Féminin International des Pyrénées that was cancelled due to lack of safety. How did you experience the three stages and the discussions between riders and organisers?

It was a little random to be honest. On the first stage people were crashing and cars were everywhere, it's not really something we are used to. Racing in that part of France already has its technical difficulties but with the cars it just got to a whole other level. I just think they spent the money on the wrong priorities. Of course, TV coverage is amazing, but safety first!

I got dropped on the last climb of the first stage and if there was no safety on the first group, imagine what it was like in the gruppetto. I was super sad because it was such an exciting race, with a great course and I liked it last year as well. But our safety was not prioritised. We stopped on the second stage and we agreed to neutralise the stage ourselves, but then the prize money and UCI points for the climbs and the sprints were still available, and people took advantage of that. In the end it wasn't neutralised, especially approaching the climb we were full gas just like preparing a sprint. So as a team we decided to not race on Sunday, no matter what was decided. And I think we made the right choice.

Now, if you don’t mind, a few more personal questions. Do you have a hype song before races?

I love some Beyoncé! Maybe some Crazy In Love, it's a classic that always gives a boost of confidence.

What was your favourite race to ride in so far?

Maybe the first Tour of Portugal, in 2021. It was really special, the first stage race in my country.

Which race would you love to ride one day?

Giro Donne was always my biggest dream so I can not believe it will come true in just a few days and at only 19 years old!

What made you first start cycling?

I had been going to ballet since I was 5 years old and I was quite good at it. But then at 9 years old a neighbour asked me if I wanted to do some races, at the time mountain bike. And my parents didn't like the idea at all, and tried to convince me not to but I really wanted to try it. They let me try it but were always thinking I would give up after 2 or 3 races. And here we are, lots of years later *laughs*.

At which point did you know “this is what I want to do?”

I didn't. It was just race after race, I enjoyed it and wanted more and more. I was always super professional and dreamt about being a pro, and that's the goal since I was U17.

What is the best post-workout snack?

Milk with chocolate.

Who is your biggest supporter?

Hard to say just one, both my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law and my boyfriend are my biggest supporters.

If you had to pick one for the rest of your life: track or road?

Road for sure.

When you are deep in the red zone and you feel like you can’t continue, where do you go mentally to be able to keep pushing?

I like to talk with myself, not loudly. But I'll tell myself “It's ok. You worked really hard for this, you can do this. Don't freak out. I know it hurts but it will be over in a second.” I just keep fooling myself as long as it takes until the finish line. This was the way I could get out of that suffering place. I also really struggle with anxiety, especially on racing and this helps me to not get too overwhelmed.

Outside of the cycling world, what is something you deeply care about?

Family became a huge part of my life, especially when you are always travelling and far from home.

What is one thing you want to tell every young girl who loves cycling?

That’s kinda hard because I still feel like I'm one of them. But I would say to work as hard as their dreams and trust your gut.

Good luck and good legs for the rest of the season! Up next for you is the Giro Donne, the whole team at writebikerepeat wishes you a great time and some amazing racing. Can you tell us your goals for your first Grand Tour?

Thanks my real goal is to finish, to learn, and to live this crazy experience because it's a dream coming true. I’ve never done a Grand Tour so it’s really hard to know what to expect!

Thank you so much for this interview, it was a real joy to talk to you.

Thank you for caring, I really enjoyed the interview.

Beatriz begins the Giro Donne this Friday 30th June.

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