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.

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

Amira Mellor - Uk Nationals - Craig Zadoroznyj 8
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.

Amira Mellor - Uk Nationals - Craig Zadoroznyj 16
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.

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

Matched to the NEXT Wyman kit.

C33A9627Kona hearts ‘cross.