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Helen Wyman

Helen Wyman heads up the embankment

Back on the road again

Helen Wyman
October 21, 2013, 21:56 BST,
October 21, 2013, 22:58 BST

Helen Wyman enjoys another season start in the USA

Riding for an American team I always start my season across the pond on the east coast of the USA. This year we went pretty much straight to Vermont from our Alpine training camp and gave ourselves a couple of weeks to settle into time zones and American breakfasts before the first race.

We always stay with Jerry, Sabine and their lovely children Noah and Benji. I'm pretty sure they enjoy having us too as we always join in with family life. This year I successfully retained my jenga ninja skills, made a child cry with the amount of vegetables I put in every meal and battered a 12-year-old at Words with Friends. All proud, proud moments for me! We also helped Jerry get a Strava segment behind the moped and challenged Noah to do 10 sit ups and press ups at every commercial break in an American football game. (For non-Americans that’s roughly 1000 sits ups!)

As always for race reports check out my website, but just for information I raced Green Mountain, Charm City cross, Gloucester and Providence. So after Green Mountain we stole meatball (Jerry’s Volvo) and cracked on to Baltimore.

I really love Baltimore as it’s got a great vibe and this year was no exception. We were able to stay with Suzy and Joe again, where I always learn a new vegetarian recipe, to Stef’s great delight. After the race this year we went for the 'ice cream challenge'. There’s a place in 'downtown' where they sell a colossal ice cream. It’s basically a round Belgian waffle (size of a plate) with 12 scoops of ice cream pilled on top followed by a huge dollop of cream and roughly 500 grams of syrup covered walnuts. It’s safe to say I went with a smaller option while Stef took up the challenge. As every one at the table failed to finish including my little portion we asked about the success rate. Apparently in 6 years only 2 people have been victorious.

After Baltimore we went onto stay with our Scottish friends in Acton for the Midnight Ride race and 'cross clinic. That is correct I said Scottish, I guess in foreign countries we are allies! The clinic was awesome as always and it was great to see people use the things we had covered with them in the races. One of the guys even got second that evening.

From there it was a short drive to our final host house on the coast just south of Gloucester. This is good, as meatball threw a hissy fit and required some coaxing to limp her way through the remainder of our trip. The weather was crazy hot. We even went paddling in the Atlantic Ocean in 29c heat at 4pm; it was truly beautiful.

We were really enjoying our final week in the USA until we heard the terrible news about Amy Dombroski. It's devastating when you here news of bike riders being killed while out doing there job, but never has this been so close to home. I was chatting to Amy just the previous weekend. Many of my friends were incredibly close to her and obviously every one in our tiny little racing community knew Amy. The following weekend was definitely a tough one and the lap of silence we did at Providence was one of the hardest things I have done. I may have been particularly 'huggy' that weekend, but I guess it just reminds you that life is so very precious and to let people know they are special everyday, just in case.

At Providence we saw the great side of life too as the 'little bellas' were doing their first 'cross camp for under privileged young girls from the local community. The girls got to borrow bikes, go riding and try out a miniature course set up next to the track before ending the day by asking questions to the 'pros'. Having heard my accent the girls just kept asking me to say stuff to them so they could copy. Definitely made my day. If you don’t follow them already they have a website and are on twitter too.

From here we came home to Belgium via England for the first European races. The weather is turning autumnal and has only briefly stopped raining in the last week so may the season continue as it started, muddy, cool and a lot of fun.

Next up are the world cups, Nacht Van Woerden (the cheese race), Ruddervoorde, Koppenberg and the European championships before I get a little break. I will definitely update soon.

Till then.

Helen Wyman in the Stoke criterium

A summer on the road

Helen Wyman
August 14, 2013, 21:39 BST,
August 14, 2013, 22:44 BST

Helen enjoys the "off-season" and prepares for 'cross

My summer, defined by season rather than the weather, has been filled with exciting things. When I stop racing in a muddy field I take up my second love, road racing and change from hanging out with boys to gossiping with girls instead (not at all stereotypical, honest). In the summer I end up latching myself on to the Matrix Fitness girls, a UK women's team run by the ever so versatile husband. I carry out a mentor role for the young riders and hopefully help them follow a good path to professional racing.

Early in the year we had a holiday in Malta (no bikes) swiftly followed by a three-week training camp in Limoux (pain) followed by spending a few months in England for the Johnson Health tech criterium series and few other random races.

It’s really fun to hang out with girls for a change and this year they were blessed with the presence of the lovely Gabby Day. If you have never met Gabby Day you are missing a treat. Not only is she lovely she has the very best stories in the world, which she just drops into conversation as if they happen to everyone every day; like falling down a man hole cover, for example.

So not to encroach on Stef's parents house all summer we spent a lot of time staying with my brother, Greg in sunny Sheringham, Norfolk. He lives with his girlfriend, Kay who has a slight phobia to eating anything outside of the 'yellow' food group. As they both work full time we took on the cooking duties. Approximately two meals into our stay, and Greg labeled me a one women vegetable campaigner as he had never eaten so much "green stuff" in his adult life. Kay held out for about a week before hunger finally got the better of her and she allowed green and red into her diet. They both said they enjoyed us being there, but that’s easy to say once we have left ha ha.

We also spent a week living in an actual real life castle. It was built in 1615 and was the last fortified dwelling to be built on the Scottish border. Short history lesson: Scotland and England hated each other, we may have occupied them and done mean things so their hatred was fair enough. So we built a wall, which didn’t really work as each country just jumped over it and stole and broke stuff for a few hundred years. Thus leading to lots of castles being built (none of the above is accurate in any way). This one had a spiral staircase made the other way because the defending knight was left handed. Fascinating fact for you right there, which actually is accurate.

Anyway the castle was awesome except there was no internet or telephone reception; Great for team building but not so great for eight under-21 year olds who are actually addicted to their mobiles/internet/texting/boyfriends. This did lead to some pretty interesting/dangerous window leaning antics to get a reception.

To keep the adults entertained there was a full size snooker table (Stef annihilated me every game) and a ping pong table. Which leads neatly onto the question if it’s ping pong from one end, is it pong ping from the other?! Turns out Harriet, one of the girls on Stef's team, was actually a table tennis ninja in a previous life. I didn’t win many of those games either.

Shortly after the castle we went out to Brittany for the Tour De Bretagne Feminine, in a very pretty touristy region of France. I say it's pretty, but while racing you mostly see blood. It was crazy hot (finally) but a really fun event and great to spend more time with the girls. A particular highlight being the team conversation on things you should worry about more than osteoporosis: you probably had to be there.

Tindley, another girl on the team, gets very excitable before bikes races and with this being her first ever UCI race she was 'stressy' to say the least. On day two somebody masking tapped up her bike levers, water bottle, crank, jersey to her chair and shoes. It was a plan to give her something to do until the race start and a kind of distraction technique. She saw the funny side ... eventually.

The rest of the season sped past as always. I won a race, went on the cycle show wearing a funny t-shirt, and waved at the queen while lapping past Buckingham palace at an evening criterium.

Now I am in the French Alps for some altitude training for the ever looming 'cross season. Once again I will be starting in my second home, America and I am beyond excited although it only seemed like yesterday that the last season was ending. You know you love cross when you get pre-race nerves just booking the hotels! Promise to update soon.

Till then.

Helen Wyman (GB) always has a smile on her face

Helen Wyman's best bits from the season

Helen Wyman
February 28, 2013, 9:29 GMT,
February 28, 2013, 9:48 GMT

My top ten from the year

As a change from writing about my ever so exciting life I thought I'd treat you all to an end of season round up of my best bits (oh-er misses). So here it is.

Best Team

I have by far the best team around me and no I am not biased about this at all. My team mates are awesome and this season I have been able to hang out with the majority of them over the season both in Europe and America. I’ve learnt Paxson is hot (as he features on the dudes websites), Wendy is truly hilarious, Sean likes high heel shoes, Barry is actually a living legend in American cyclo-cross andTonkin can dance to hip hop. They made my season even better this year and I’ve never enjoyed worlds as much as I did this year simply because of these guys.

Best Entourage

This leads me neatly onto the best mechanics, soigneurs manager etc. Who are all awesome. I’ve had extra help in Europe from the likes of Jim at Koppenberg and Spraggat Gieten and in #Merica from my amazing Kona mechanic Dave. At worlds I also imported my east side mechanic Kris, who not only did a great job but provided me with a set of boots as my pink converse were not entirely appropriate for post race watching.

My ever faithful jersey collectors Patrick and Monique have to get a mention here as they tirelessly rock up to every European race just to be helpful to me for which I’m truly grateful. At this point I would mention my #Merican jersey collector Jerry but I sacked him after Rochester when he went for a beer instead of being at the finish line!

Best Course

So moving onto the racing. Best course is a tricky one as so many have such great parts but to me my ultimate favourite for the entire experience has to be Koppenberg. So many races take close second including Oostmalle, Charm City, Iowa and Namen but they cant all win.

Maybe the only reason it rates so highly is because its my local race but to me its just epic and the level of respect given to it here in Belgium is just huge. We went to the B-post bank troffee presentation this week and the TV viewing figures were only 2nd to Baal on new years day when people watch a lot of TV! The figures showed that approximately 815,000 Belgians watched the race on TV and 17,000 people at the event. That’s quite a lot.

Best Battle

I've had a lot of great battles this season including Koppenberg with Nikki and many, many battles to the finish with Van Passen but the one that stands out the most tome has to be Gieten. Battling with the reigning world champion on a mud course in her own country was truly amazing. Not only did we go head to head till the final lap but because of who Marianne is she never gave in. It was brilliant and a true highlight.

Best Moment

Although another great battle the European Championships has to fall under best moment for sure. Not just in my season but potentially in my entire career. I havenever been able to compete in a major event in my own country in front of so manyfriends and family. I never beleived it but I can honestly say the British crowdmade that extra 10cm difference that was winning and every single one of you deservea part of my jersey. Thank you

Best Crowd

I love Belgium I really do and like I said the crowd at Euros were increadible, however the best crowd award for me has to go to the people at the WorldChampionships in #Merica. I have never experienced such a huge crowd where everysingle person cheered for me. Even now writing about it gives me 'goose bumps' and Icould not imagine how crazy it was for the American riders it was just sooooooooooooloud.

Best Skill

As a bike rider its so important to keep learning and this year I tried to master the bunny hop as I watched a video of a girl clearing planks in #Merica. This I amstill working on so watch this space. However I did learn to ride steps as thisvideo proves and I was so proud of myself. This summer part of my training willdefinitely be skids and wheelies.

Best Product

I'm in a really enviable position to be able to test all kinds of new products and this year was no exception. Kona are amazing and would hands down win best productevery time as my major Jakes are with out a shadow of a doubt the best cross bikesever. However this season my hybrid challenge tire, I like to call the 'Wyman XS,'was for me a true game changer. Plus while my competitiors cant get them I'm still#winning.

Best Husband

Okay so there is only one but he definitely deserves a mention. He is truly the shining light in my cyclocross life and everyone should have one. He tirelessly does everything for me and I can be a Prima Donna when I really want to, no honest. I know we are a team but he coaches, drives, mechanics, pit works, organises,emotionally supports and this summer is learning massage meaning all I have to do is turn up. He rocks.

Best For Womens Cyclo-cross

I definitely feel this deserves a mention as so many people have made me realize this season that Women's cross is worth fighting for. America has the equal prize money thing down and equal opportunity and because you guys are shouting the loudest about it Europe is definitely listening. When I wrote the piece about federations not sending their best riders to worlds I never imagined so many people to take note. Due to the people so keen to see a difference and the people involved wanting to make changes I genuinely believe this has been a good break through for women's cycling in Europe and the UCI. The likes of Sanne Cant being a successful Belgian winning cross races in Belgium, Marianne Vos being herself and naturally drawing publicity and the sport becoming globalised we are getting more support. However Iwill not stop trying to publicise everything I can till we can honestly say our sport is equal because I see so many young riders coming through the ranks like Britishyouth champion Abby Mae-Parkinson and they deserve to be able to make a career outof this sport.

Best Laid Plans

Finally to the future. I have so many plans for this summer it is unreal. I have so many ideas as to what I need to do and how to do it and am truly excited about the next cross season already. As tired as I may be I’m actually a little sad that itsover so soon and am plotting as we speak. Bring on September.

To finish I just want to say thank you for listening and to everyone who had any part in my most successful season ever, it has truly been a blast. You guys are (inan American accent) AWESOME.

See you in a field very soon.

Helen Wyman (Kona)

Looking ahead to racing Worlds

Helen Wyman
February 01, 2013, 16:39 GMT,
February 01, 2013, 16:40 GMT

British star to race on Saturday

Shocked as you may be, I am actually writing this with no excuse needed as to why I’m late. It’s actually the perfect time to pick up where I last left off in the mystical world of the Wyman’s. As a change from just a standard blog here in #merica I have decided to put up a video of the course……..oh no wait a minute, it’s Wednesday and we aren’t allowed on it yet! (I’m a euro; it’s our right to complain about these things). The rumours are that the signs say trespasses will be shot, so I’m not taking the risk on this one. Alas my simple words from Louisville will have to excite you all (that’s pronounced y’all) instead.

So what have I been up to? Nationals, hmm, well that happened (I wrote about it), moving on. After the last world cup I ended up just 2 points of 3rdoverall. Frustrating given what happened in Roubaix, but I’ll move on happy. So now I’ve arrived in #merica and boy am I excited to be here.Last time we stayed in Louisville we were just within the city limits (which to English people means the beginning AND end of the town) and the training was a little ‘OMG I’m actually scared sh1tless”. However this time we are just far enough out that it is truly beautiful. The roads are quiet, rolling hills and there’s a park with a road circuit with no cars on it. The area is really very pretty and our house is like something out of ‘Cribbs’.

We arrived in #merica on Wednesday in order to ride the Cincinatti race on the Saturday. Unfortunately airplaneflu (A condition common in ‘highly tuned’ athletes) stopped that in its tracks. I’m fine now for those nice people who might have beenconcerned. The best thing about Cinci is our host house. The Streckerfamily are truly awesome and Kona have stayed with them for years; I’m lucky to have been accepted. On top of this I got to hang out with the mystical Eric Tonkin. Usually he fly’s in about an hour before his race and leaves within an hour of it finishing. He’s also pretty much camouflaged with a cross course so a few days extra was a treat. We even managed a true American pancake and coffee fuelled breakfast #winning.

So being back in #merica is more than a little exciting and it’s so nice to be able to hang out with my team. I call it ‘my team’ but I guess it’s technically ‘the team’. Whatever sister. My teammate Wendy Simms is racing and Demo Dave (the only mechanic in the world to have been born on the planet awesome) has driven the rig down. It’s amazing to be able to be here giving a little something back to the people that have supported me for so long and hanging out in the Kona expo area all weekend. I’m sure this weekend isgonna be a little like the weather we have so far experienced - wild! It’s gone from 2c below freezing on Monday to 21c yesterday. There was a tornado last night (not in our crib btw -just saying) and it’s currently hailing #goodtimes.

Having spent a lot of time in #merica over the last few years it really feels good to be here racing the world championships in front off all those people who have become part of life. I truly, truly can’t wait to race. Some friends left Toronto yesterday to drive down to Louisville, complete with a T-shirt with me on, that’s how dedicated these people are. Our ‘hosts with the most’ are also here in the form of Kris Auer and Jerry Chabot. Jerry is still flying high after financially backing Jon Page to race in US Nationals via his company ENGVT. I hope he still remembers me, I need the support.

In terms of expectations for the weekend well I can honestly say in the 8 years I have been racing cross professionally it has moved on leaps and bounds. There may only be 33 women on the start line on Sunday, due to many reasons out of our control, but I guarantee you it will be one of the most exciting world championships for the women.

Vos and Compton will probably be duking it out at the front of the race with any of 12 other riders hot on their heals. Such is the depth of this chasing pack I think it would be impossible to predict the final result. Havingbeen on world cup podiums this year I would include myself as a contender, although so haveSanne Van Passen, Nikki Harris, Christel Ferrier-Brunea, Katerina Nash, JasminAchermann, and Sanne Cant. Then you add in the successful mountain bikers like Annie Last and Eva Letchner. Before stirring in the Americans racing on American soil, I can honestly tell you it can make that last percent difference and we have a hard fought battle on our hands. Add on the weather conditions and it could easily be anybody’s race.

I feel privileged to be European Champion racing in the first ever world championships outside of Europe and know the event will be a success. So if you are down at the race you will find me hanging out at the Kona tent in my yellow stars jersey and racing my little heart out come Sunday. Please cheer for me, even if it’s just over the internet, I’m going to need it!


Racing at the Jingle Cross in December

Heading towards Nationals and Worlds

Helen Wyman
January 12, 2013, 10:29 GMT,
January 12, 2013, 10:42 GMT

Strictly come dancing, new jerseys and hotel adventures

So as usual I will begin by apologising for my lack of blogs over Christmas and will employ the usual excuse of just being 'too busy'. However so you don’t feel like you have missed anything I will quickly update until the Christmas block in one short paragraph.

So raced Koppenberg, won, got an even bigger cobble, good times. Drove to England that night, raced the European championships 2 days later, won, got a new blue jersey with stars, even better times. Flew to America the next morning, despite best efforts didn’t get upgraded on my flight. Raced Louisville the following weekend, got 4th both days, felt like death, brought back to earth. Raced Jingle Rock cross 3 days the following weekend, equal prize money, great race promoter, kids raced sponsored by build a bear workshop, won all 3, great host house, awesome times. Flew home, raced Koksijde World Cup, suffered to 5th, drove to the north of Holland. Raced Gieten the next morning, won, beat Marianne Vos (lets throw a hash tag in for good measure) #winning. Roubaix world cup the following weekend, went running, silly idea, 13th. Next day flew to Spain, sunshine, warmth.

Right, so every one up to date?

For the last couple of years we have tried to squeeze in a solid block of training in a warm climate at the beginning of December and this years choice was the Costa Del Sol in Spain/county of England. I love living in Belgium, however sometimes it’s just nice to wake up to sunshine, every single morning. It seems to make the world a very colourful, happy place. It seems I’m not alone in this as our first day out training we saw at least 5 pro women roadies and a cross rider.

This year my training partner was to be Hugo Robinson, last year's junior national cross champion. Great, an opportunity to give a 17 year old a good pasting. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way and all I got was talked at for two entire weeks! As I know, of my 6 followers at least 2 are American I will provide you with some great English sayings to highlight his talkativeness. He most definitely had more rabbit than Sainsbury’s' and 'could talk the hind leg of a donkey' even when riding up hill. But he was happy to watch 'strictly come dancing', never once flinched at my TV choice and can follow a recipe to perfection, so a great house guest really.

Fortunately this year I didn’t end up riding on a golf course or getting chased by dogs so it was just great training ready to race over Christmas. Hugo turned 18 on our final day in Spain so we got him drunk and left him on his own to find his way home, after all we were no longer his responsible adults. He is still there.

So moving on, we came back to race again this time in Essen and then the World Cup in Namen. I usually book all the hotels for our races and spend a lot of time finding nice places that are a reasonable price. Usually above Formula 1 (we prefer not having to negotiate drunken truck drivers fornicating with young ladies in the corridor when trying to find the toilets late at night) and just below Holiday Inn level.

This year for the first time EVER I totally messed up and booked our World Cup hotel for the wrong month. So me and Hugo dropped Stef at the managers’ meeting and headed on up the hill to then frantically search the internet for something available and within 20km of Namen for that night.

I genuinely believe on this occasion my mess up was actually our gain as the last minute (we arrived 12 minutes after booking) apartment was the nicest place I have ever stayed in, in my short but varied life. It was the highest of 5 star accommodation complete with, sitting room, snug, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, dressing gowns and the worlds best shoe drying invention. There was a beautiful ornate cast iron cupboard above the antique (well old at least) huge bar radiator that heated the entire apartment, made just for me to dry my race shoes from their race bath. Unfortunately I will be requiring a very successful pro tour man's salary in order to stay in such luxury for every race or just take the risk of booking while stood outside!

We spent Christmas in another apartment at Zolder. Christmas isn’t entirely Christmas for us as when you race the next day it just becomes another day, same as new year but as I am like a child at Christmas I have arranged for a Wyman Christmas in February and the tree will not be taken down until then.

It's quite fortunate as our drainage system had a hissy fit over Christmas and blocked itself meaning we couldn’t drain any water, anywhere in the house. Luckily we have a lot of friends in Oudenaarde and the local bakery does a great breakfast! As I write this the pavement and street outside our house are being dug up to find the root of the problem, thus endearing us to our neighbours I’m sure.

I raced, Loenhout, Baal and Surhuisterveen then flew to Rome for the world cup last weekend. My darling, lovely husband drove from the north of Holland to Rome and then onto Monaco, where we stayed for the week before he drives on home to England. Most women want their husbands to buy them flowers or chocolates to show their love. I make mine drive around Europe in the Kona van. He has rocked up 4000km so far this week, that’s true love right?!

This weekend is the national championships across the world. Ours is in Bradford in the north of England (Because Stef hasn’t driven enough) and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s the first time I get to race my star covered jersey in the UK so I’m excited. After that it’s the final World Cup, followed by Cincinnati race and Worlds. So quite an important month then!

Words can not describe exactly how much I am looking forward to going back to la lalalalalala 'merica. It has to be my favourite place to race a bike right now and I already know where the Whole foods market is #winning. I promise I will write again before worlds maybe even put a few videos out of the course even, so keep an eye on my website.

'Till then.

Helen Wyman's travel plan

Six nights and six beds

Helen Wyman
October 30, 2012, 14:50 GMT,
October 30, 2012, 15:11 GMT

Helen has a whirlwind tour of Europe

Nope this is not an advert for 'the only way is Essex'. This is actually my life for the last week. I have been a very busy bee since returning to Europe and in doing so have basically been living on the road out of the Kona van (yet to be named, all suggestions welcome). This last two weeks saw us travelling the length of Europe just to play in some muddy fields. As I am a visual person I felt it appropriate to draw a very in depth diagram on a map of exactly where we have been over the last week. It looks a little like the opening scene of Dads Army (showing my age) yet still I feel it is incredibly accurate.

So first up was the Czech Republic via a night in a hotel in Nurnberg. Czech always surprises me with the huge disparity in wealth between the past and the present so it’s always an interesting country to visit. You can be out riding and see falling down little shacks with people living in them alongside beautifully ornate cathedral like gold plated buildings. My friend Hanka (did I just name drop??) did actually inform me that the country was a power house in history so it is to be expected. Blimey - clever and fast. Anyway it was good to be back.

Some of the things I love about the country include the way that the no-smoking areas of the restaurants are only differentiated by a sticker on the table and the food is so good that you don’t care that you have no idea what you are ordering.

After the race on Sunday an unnamed person we shall call 'Hale' for this story, came to us and asked for the details of the hotel we had stayed in. As I went searching for the details I asked why. To which Hale replied 'Pace' (his father) has lost the car keys and needed the details to fill in the police report. Oh no, stuck in the Czech Republic with a locked car and no keys. Pace apparently also brought mothers car keys thinking they were the correct spares, to which I can only assume he was reprimanded for by his son. After searching the whole course the police came to take all the details and inspect the car. As they were looking at the car another mechanic came up and asked if they had tried the doors, he did, it opened. He then proceeded to pop the boot where the keys sat neatly on top of Hales kit bag. A happy ending, but incredibly funny from the sideline.

After Tabor it was back in the van for a quick trip to Plzen, then the next morning to start the journey to Nacht van Woerden, back in Holland. An overnight stay in another Etap hotel on Monday night was planned before hitting Woerden on Tuesday. All the riders were asked to attend the VIP area to schmooze with the race sponsors where I met two guys from Norfolk who pretty much knew all the Eastern league warriors who I am friends with from my youth. During the race they cheered VERY loud which was greatly appreciated. So armed with lots of cheese (loot from the podium) and bikes cleaned in the dark it was onto the next hotel before the short drive back to the Czech Republic the next morning.

Arriving in Pilsen was just as we had left it two days previously, misty, chilly and generally grey, lovely. It seems that this week the country was just covered in fog, which you would occasionally pop out of for very brief periods of time before delving back in. Still the countryside was nice enough and the roads were super smooth and straight, like Canadian straight!

Anyway by Saturday it had really chilled out and started to snow. I don’t know what had come over me when packing in 22 degree heat in Belgium the previous week. But somehow I had not packed my thermal skinsuit for an October cross race. Oh wait yes I do, it was still warm! Anyway this aside I had a great weekend again and didn’t really feel the cold in the end anyway, maybe it related to the bike riding we did in between the running race. Did I get that the right way round?!

After the race it was back on the road again for the final leg back home. With roughly two hours to go Stef finally cracked on the driving front and needed to sleep. I don’t really know what his problem was as he had only done all the pit work for me and Ian. I only changed every half a lap and the bikes only needed jet washing and prepping in the 5 minutes and 5 seconds he had between changes, before doing the same for Ian in the elite race (About 30 bike washes in total). Anyway so I jumped into the driver’s seat readjusted the settings and popped it in first to pull away. To which it whirred and jerked and didn’t go anywhere. Opps lets find 1st again then!

After less than 5 minutes the boys were fast asleep and I was clocking down the kilometres at midnight on the motorways. I may have struggled a little more on the final smaller roads, as having never driven a left hand drive van and struggling with the right arm operating the gear stick thing. However Stef only flinched once as I got close to a bush so I'm gonna call that a result.

This week we are off to Koppenberg on Thursday, the European championships on Saturday in England before flying to #Merica on Sunday for five races in nine days. Busy times. Can’t wait.

Till then


Helen Wyman

Follow British 'cross champion Helen Wyman during the 2012-2013 season as the Kona factory team rider competes in both the United States and Europe through to the 2013 world championships in Louisville, Kentucky.

Based in Belgium for seven years, Wyman has won the British 'cross championship seven years running, notched victories in the US and Europe and has stood on the podium at 'cross World Cups.