Luc Van Der Meiren photo

It was a case of déjà vu for Helen Wyman today as she finished 3rd in the European Cyclo-Cross Championships for the 2nd year running. Taking place in Frankfurt, it was a fast race from the start. Despite heavy rain on Saturday and during the night, it wasn’t enough to change the course and it remained a very fast event.

Helen had a slow start by her own standards, and admitted to not having the best day, but was able to regain the contact with the front of the race mid-way through the first lap. She proceeded to lead the race through laps 2 and 3. A group of 4 riders had formed including local favourite Hanka Kupfernagel, but from an early stage it was the Dutch duo of van Paassen and van den Brand that looked the strongest.

Hanka crashed on the 4th lap, leaving Helen alone to battle against the Dutch pair, but they proved to be too strong. Working together and making Helen working hard to keep them it proved too much and Helen was left to solo into 3rd place.

After the race Helen said, ‘It was a fast course, but there were still places you could use your strength and technical skills. I know the course well having ridden here for the last 3 years so I felt confident.’

‘This time last year, I didn’t think I’d be disappointed if I’d got 3rd in a European Championship, but today I am a little. The 2 Dutch girls were very strong, but they worked together and got the better of me. But I think the strongest 2 girls on the day were in top 2 positions. They deserved the top 2 steps of the podium. I’ll be back next year, even stronger, and trying to win the jersey.’

‘It’s still a championship medal and I’m always proud to win a medal. It shows I’m in good condition, and it shows how far I have come in the last 12 months. I’ve got another race on Thursday and then it will be a little break for me. I’m quite looking forward to weekend off now!’

1 Daphny Van Den Brand (Netherlands) 0:38:30
2 Sanne Van Paassen (Netherlands) 0:00:09
3 Helen Wyman (Great Britain) 0:00:40
4 Hanka Kupfernagel (Germany) 0:01:01
5 Pavla Havlíková (Czech Republic) 0:01:08