Kona Cross Superstar Helen Wyman reports from The Koppenberg

The Koppenberg is my favourite race. It’s literally a couple of km’s from home and to me it just can’t be rivalled. On top of being my home town race, the atmosphere and course combined make it something just that tiny bit above other classics. This year’s race was no different, with huge crowds gathered, all excited to see Sven race on his hill for a final time. Sadly they were disappointed when his rear mech crapped out on him with a lap to go, but they all went home happy having seen Jolien Verschueren, who also lives very close become (I think) the first Belgian woman to win on the Koppenberg.


I had a really solid start, and I was feeling pretty good. My training is sinking into my legs and I know I’m headed in the right direction; so leading into the bottom of the Koppenberg for the first time was a good feeling. Then Femke Van den Driessche lit up the rockets and flew up the hill taking a huge lead on all of us chasers. I was 2nd to the decent, and past Femke on the 3rd corner who was then making friends with the floor. But that was far from the end of her race.

A group of us got together and the next time up K’berg it was to be Jolien who gave it everything. She was gone. To be fair Femke gave her a good run for her money uphill where nobody else could challenge. I guess that’s why she has strava queen of the mountains for the berg! A massively deserved win for Jolien awaited who was a league apart today. Femke took 2nd, while I held 4th until about 800 meters from the line and got 6th. Not what I wanted but the performance was my best of my season so far. The Belgies often ask me “how are the feelings”, well folks, the feelings are good. I don’t mind them asking about my feelings, it’s when they replace feelings with sensations I get a little freaked out.

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Click the above image to watch race the highlights

The next few weeks should be interesting as we start to hit double race weekends, mid week races and what is normally a decisive time in the classifications. Fingers crossed the conditions will toughen up a little as these dryish events should be over by November!

1 Jolien Verschueren

2 Femke van den Driessche

3 Nikki Harris

4 Sanne Cant

5 Thalita de Jong

6 Helen Wyman

7 Ellen van Loy

8 Sanne van Paassen

9 Maud Kaptheijns

10 Loes Sels