helen wyman

Helen Wyman Goes 2nd at UCI C1 CX in Hoogstraten, Belgium

Kona’s Helen Wyman Claims Podium Result in Belgium

Words by Helen Wyman, photos by Marcel Hilger and Kristof Bruers.

It’s hard to believe that’s it’s February and I’m only just getting into my first weekend of races in Belgium; it was great to be back however. Saturday we raced in Lille, which is full of sand and if I’m honest I don’t really like sand. So I was thrilled the weekend was a doubleheader and I got to race in the mud of Hoogstraten on Sunday.

Helen - Hoogstraten - Credit Kristof Bruers

My “incident” in October has set me back in the World Ranking, so the start of the race is a new challenge for me now, coming through traffic, albeit world class traffic. Ellen van Loy got her trademark rocket fast start making it all the harder to get back in contention, but after a couple of laps I was moving through and picking up spots. I got on the back of the Katie Compton Express, direction finish line, held on for grim death, then we started to see the next riders.

Highlights Video: 

Passing the greatest rider ever, Marianne Vos, kind of gives you wings. Then I passed the World Champion, Sanne Cant, and the podium was on. I had young gun Maud Kaptheijns chasing me down, but I wanted 3rd. I wanted to finish the season with something to remember aside from disaster. With only 300 metres to go, Maud passed me, but I immediately passed back, and we saw Ellen on the final running section. That was it, I went into Usain Bolt mode, and pushed my tired legs to catch Ellen and pass her for second on the line.

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I’m not back to where I could have been, but I’m certainly further forward than predicted. I’m back racing wheel for wheel with the worlds best. I can now look forward to next season with excitement and anticipation.

Result

1 – Sophie de Boer
2 – Helen Wyman
3 – Ellen van Loy
4 – Sanne Cant
5 – Maud Kaptheijns
27 – Amira Mellor

Event – Superprestige Hoogstraten 5 February 2017

Keep up with Helen on Twitter and Instagram.

Introducing Amira Mellor and Team NEXT Wyman – Kona

Long time Kona Factory rider Helen Wyman is a fixture in the international cyclocross scene. With nine UK National Championships and two European titles to her name, she’s well decorated. Sitting on the UCI Cyclocross Commission, she is steering the direction of the sport, advocating for positive change and gender balance. And, beginning this year, Helen is formally passing on her experience through the NEXT Wyman – Kona development team.

The NEXT Wyman project was conceived by Helen as a way to help young racers bridge the gap between regional success and international competition. Making the jump from local races to the international scene is filled with logistical hurdles of travel and transport in addition to the expected challenges of competition such as training programs and nutrition.

C33A9745Long time Kona Factory team rider Helen Wyman.

C33A9765Team NEXT Wyman – Kona rider Amira Mellor.

Helen’s passion for her chosen discipline aligns with her desire to keep young women in the sport despite the additional challenges of going pro, and that’s where the NEXT Wyman project came from. Drawing on Helen’s career of international racing experience, the NEXT Wyman project aims to fast-track racers, helping with all of the little things that pop up day-to-day – so racers can focus more on racing, and less on logistics.

Here at Kona we were on board from the beginning: while Helen’s racing success is noteworthy, she is an ambassador for cycling in general and we’re happy to support her in this next phase of her career, where personal success and experience leads naturally into mentorship.

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Practice day prior to the World Cup race in Namur, Belgium.

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Getting prepped to race.

angus-sung-amira-natsFocus on the start line ahead of a silver medal performance at the 2017 UK under-23 National Championships. Photo: Angus Sung.

For the 2016-2017 cyclocross season, team NEXT Wyman – Kona brought on its first rider: former British Junior National Cyclocross Champion Amira Mellor. Over the season, we’ve seen Amira race in both the United States and throughout Europe, take her first victory in a UCI Cyclocross race, and land on the podium with a strong second place finish in the under-23 British Cyclocross National Championships.

UK Nationals - Credit Angus Sung - 2Amira on a classic ‘cross run-up at the 2017 UK National Championships. Photo: Angus Sung.

UK Nationals - Credit Angus Sung - 13UK National Championships. Photo: Angus Sung.

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In the familiar mud and muck of the UK. Photo: Craig Zadoroznyj.

NovaCross - Huw Williams 1Amira en route to her first UCI race win at NovaCross. Photo: Huw Williams.

Amira Mellor - NovaCross - Craig ZadoroznyjHard work paying off for Amira Mellor at NovaCross. Photo: Craig Zadoroznyj.

With a successful season of international racing under its belt, the NEXT Wyman project has great momentum. The next step for both Amira and Helen is representing their shared homeland of Britain at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Bieles, Luxembourg on January 28-29, 2017.

Keep up with Helen, Amira, and team NEXT Wyman – Kona:

Amira Mellor on Twitter and Instagram.
Helen Wyman on Twitter and Instagram.
Team NEXT Wyman on Twitter and Instagram.

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Amira’s cyclocross weapon, the Kona Jake the Snake CR.

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Matched to the NEXT Wyman kit.

C33A9627Kona hearts ‘cross.

Kona’s Amira Mellor 2nd at UK CX Nationals, Selected for UK Worlds Team Along with Helen Wyman

Kona riders Amira Mellor and Helen Wyman have both been selected to represent the UK at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Bieles, Luxembourg on January 28-29, 2017. Amira’s performance over the past few weeks shows the hard work of training under Helen and team NEXT Wyman – Kona paying off at the culmination of the international cyclocross season.

The UK National Championships were held this past weekend in Bradford, England. Following her first UCI victory the week previous, Amira went into the race confident, although the addition of the current World Under-23 Champion to the start list added a new dimension.

angus-sung-amira-natsAmira focused on the start line at UK Nationals, ahead of her silver medal performance. Photo: Angus Sung.

The grassy course at Peel Park had plenty of elevation change to sting the legs and the previous week’s rain had ensured it was a muddy and slippery event. A good start was followed by a frustrating half lap as Amira was caught behind some crashes. Ffion James and current U23 World Champion Evie Richards moved clear leaving Amira with a hard chase to get back in contention.

“I never really got an opportunity to see what I could do against Evie, which is frustrating, but to be honest, I don’t think she was beatable today. It was a tough lap to get back to Ffion, and from there my focus had to be on getting 2nd.  It’s great to get the silver medal; it’s a confidence boost ahead of the last World Cup and Worlds. It’s a big step forward from last season and shows the hard work is paying off.” – Amira Mellor

Amira and Helen are back to training mode in France, preparing for one more race before heading to Luxembourg to race alongside Kona teammate Kerry Werner. Follow Helen, Amira, team NEXT Wyman – Kona, and Kerry on Instagram as they make their way to the UCI Worlds in Luxembourg.

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Orange Crush podiums on both sides of the pond

First. On the Americas side…

It was once again a battle of KONA versus Cannondale/CyclocrossWorld.com as Trebon and teammate Barry Wicks took a first lap lead only to be chased down by the tenacious trio of New England racers Tim Johnson, Jamey Driscoll and Jeremy Powers. After a barrage of attacks, the lead group boiled down to Trebon, Johnson, Driscoll and Anthony.

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