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Berveling conquers Race Across America. -

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Sydney barrister Steven Berveling has completed one of the toughest bike challenges in the world
despite living with HIV.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Now an update on the inspiring story of the Sydney barrister who took on
the world's toughest bike race - the Race Across America - despite living with HIV AIDS. Two months
ago, we brought you the story of Steven Berveling's preparations for the 5,000 kilometre event. He
has now returned to Australia after conquering the race in less than a week. Conor Duffy reports.

STEVEN BERVELING, RACE ACROSS AMERICA COMPETITOR: We really started training in earnest about
eight, nine months beforehand, and riding up to 500 kilometres a week just to get that base of
power and endurance into my legs. Fortunately, that paid off.

CONOR DUFFY, REPORTER: And that was 4 AM starts for you?

STEVEN BERVELING: 4 AM starts, lunchtime rides, late afternoon ones, evening ones.

CONOR DUFFY: For more than a year, Sydney barrister Steven Berveling battled to prepare for the
toughest bike race in the world, determined to prove that a team of HIV-positive riders could
conquer a ride unimaginable to most. The long days in the saddle didn't end there. There was the
challenge of coordinating riders from all over the world, and a support team to keep them on the

STEVEN BERVELING: The logistics of that was basically a 14-month project. We had telephone
conferences with people - a crew chief who was in New Mexico, our other team members... we did that
every month.

CONOR DUFFY: Last month, he finally pedalled his way to the start line to begin. A team of four
riders worked in shifts, sleeping only three hours a day and racing against cyclists from all over
the world.

STEVEN BERVELING: The whole race - like the six days, six hours, was... It felt like one very long
day with six sunrises and six sunsets, because the whole thing just kept moving; the adrenalin that
we each had, had to keep going for that entire length of time.

CONOR DUFFY: The four riders traversed the entire country, from west coast to east. Steven
Berveling remembers desert landscapes and snow-capped mountains. But it was an encounter with a
supporter who waited hours to meet the team that he remembers best.

STEVEN BERVELING: It transpired that he was living in this very small country town in the Midwest
of the United States with HIV, and we were very humbled by how he described his experience and that
we were able to inspire him to continue to live life and go forward and enjoy himself, despite
having HIV. It was just fantastic, and we were all very, very touched by learning that this person
had really wanted to meet other people with HIV to see that we could do something like the Race
Across America. It was extraordinary and we're very honoured about that.

ROB LAKE, AUSTRALIAN FEDERATION OF AIDS ORGANISATIONS: It counters some of the doom that we heard
for a long time around HIV being a life sentence. It says to people, "This is what we can do if we
get access to good medications. And if we are able to live in a country that has good protections
for our human rights and our health, this is what we can do".

CONOR DUFFY: He's also proud of the result. The team finished the 5,000 kilometre ride in six days,
six hours and 34 minutes, placing 8th in a field of 32 teams.

STEVEN BERVELING: At the end of the race, it was just such a huge sense of relief and
accomplishment. I telephoned my partner, Brian, to say that we'd finished, but my words were,
"Mission accomplished". Because I'd very much looked at this whole project as a mission to show
that we could do this, and that there is no reason for any stigma or discrimination against people
living with HIV.

CONOR DUFFY: Steven Berveling's long time partner, Brian Crump, is proud and happy the event is
over. He didn't think the court rooms of Sydney will hold Steven Berveling for long and has no
doubt he'll be back on his bike again soon.

BRIAN CRUMP: I suppose the question now is, "Well, what's next?" You can't ride up and down Mt
Everest, I'm sure, but there'll be something like that for 2012.

STEVEN BERVELING: It is one of those things that I just love doing. I always have loved it.