Yesterday was the Fidea Jaarmarktcross in Niel and it was another race for the tough riders who thrive in wild conditions. Following on from her win in Koppenberg and a bronze medal at the European Championships last weekend, Helen was very confident going into the race. In her favourite conditions, Helen started well, taking the lead ahead of a group of 3 chasers. However an error on a tricky section put her back with the group. After a quick bike change, it was back to business as usual and Helen powered away from the chasers.
Having taken a 20 second lead, Helen was able to pick her way through the challenges of the course and gradually increase her lead until the finish. ‘The weather was as bad as it gets, which for me is perfect. In these races you have to ride your own race. You can’t ride at anyone else pace and by getting in front, there are no distractions and you can just ride a controlled race’ commented Helen after the race.
Behind Helen, Daphny van den Brand was able to get the best of the other chasers after a flying last lap. Racing in her new European Champions jersey, she got off to a slow start but looked very strong in the closing stages. Sophie de Boer took 3rd, ahead of UK rider Nikki Harris.
‘I made a mistake on the first lap, but on a course like this, mistakes are going to happen. It’s about who deals with them the best. For me these conditions aren’t too hard, but I think it’s pretty grim for the pit-crew.’ ‘Winning’s a habit, and its one habit I’m not looking to change. I’ve been on the podium in my last 5 races, and when the conditions are right, I’m always confident of taking the win. But this season I’m much more confident on all courses. Last week was a good ride for me at the European Championships on a totally different type of course.’
‘I’ve now got a weekend off and I think I need it. I’ve got a big training block now to get my condition and form back up to higher levels ready for Koksijde. I really want to go well there and make sure I’m challenging in the World Cup series going into the Christmas racing block. Although I love the rain on race day, I could really do with 10 or 12 dry days now to make sure I can the most of this training block. That’s not too much to ask, is it?’
1 Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona 0:36:33
2 Daphny van den Brand (Ned) ZZPR.nl-Destil 0:00:42
3 Sophie de Boer (Ned) ZZPR.nl-Destil 0:00:44
4 Nikki Harris (GBr) APB Cycling Team 0:00:51
5 Sanne Cant (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus 0:01:22