The conditions were pretty bad, with heavy overnight rain turning the course into a mix of mud stretches and huge puddles. The long road start stretched out the field, and it was Havilkova that got into the first off road section with a few metres lead, closely followed by Kona Factory Team rider Helen. Shortly after though, Helen was to have a ‘meeting’ with a medal pole being used to mark the course and found herself back in 7th.
Havlikova applied the pressure the front of the race and tried to stretch out a lead through the 2nd pit area. Achermann was in close pursuit and Helen was still picking her way through the field to get back in contention.
Towards the end of the first lap, Helen had just make contact with Havlikova when they approached a water filled ditch. This time it was the Czech rider that was to make an error and allow Helen to attack on the road section as the passed the finished line. This attack was to prove enough to put clear space between them, and Helen never looked back. The action was then left to the Swiss Champion, as she pursued and passed Havlikova on her way to taking 2nd behind Wyman.
“After the last 10 days of heavy training with Jamie at the Mpire Cycling Centre, I really didn’t know how my legs would feel today. I wanted to come here and win, and defend the win from last year, but I could rest going into the race. Thankfully, I never had an issue at all. I guess the guys at CNP Professional really know what they are talking about when they said I wouldn’t be having bad leg days.’ said Helen after the race. She continued, ‘When I made the mistake on the first lap, I didn’t panic, but I did think Havlikova was going very very fast. If she’d of kept that pace, it would have been a very hard race. I just tried to come back nice and slow….I guess I learnt my lesson from Gavere a few weeks ago.”
“Now I’m back down to train for a few more days in Italy before I go to Wetzikon. I won there last year and I’m really looking forward to racing against Hanka. Fingers crossed I can get the result I want.”
1 Helen Wyman (GBr)
2 Jasmin Achermann (Swi)
3 Pavla Havlikova (Cze)
4 Stefania Vecchio (Ita)
5 Francesca Cucciniello (Ita)