Wyman defends European cyclo-cross crown in Czech Republic
Event: UEC European Cyclo-Cross Championships
When: 3 November 2013
Where: Czech Republic
How it unfolded
Winning a title is a great achievement in itself but going on to defend it is an entirely different challenge.
Until 2013, Helen Wyman had dominated at the British Cycling National Cyclo-Cross Championships, taking home the elite women’s title a staggering seven consecutive times, the run eventually ended by Nikki Harris in Bradford.
But Wyman still had a European championship to defend, having been crowned Europe’s best on home soil in Ipswich in 2012. The weekend before the event, Wyman showed her form with first place in the Superprestige Ruddervoorde - it would prove the first of a hat-trick.
The day prior to the 2013 championships, the 32-year-old travelled to Belgium and won the Cyclo-cross Koppenberg, in the process defending the title.
It was the perfect preparation for the trip to the Czech Republic. Wyman, buoyed by her wins, wasted no time in attacking in Mladá Boleslav, going solo at the front of the race in the first lap of the 40 minute race.
She would defiantly remain at the front through till the finish, one minute and 11 seconds ahead of fellow Briton Nikki Harris who completed a 1-2 for Great Britain.
Wyman joined Dutchwoman Daphny van den Brand and German Hanka Kupfernagel as riders who have successfully retained the title and enhanced her status as one of the best British cyclo-cross riders of all time.
What they said
“It felt great to defend the title, particularly in Czech Republic where I’d had such a forgettable ride the weekend before.
“I’d taken 30 seconds by the end of the first lap, and entering the last lap with 1 minute 15, I took the decision to have a ‘play it safe’ lap and try not to put a foot wrong.”
Why should this be the British Cycling Ride of the Year 2013?
Joining an exclusive group of elite women double European champions, Wyman showed her class and temperament in the Czech Republic.
A difficult start left Wyman off the lead but a composed head and excellent bike riding saw her close the gap and then build a commanding lead.
The victory was another landmark in a career already rich with achievement.