Helen Wyman announced her new team as Xypex-Verge Sport in an 11-part video series she called 'The Big Reveal via Twitter' on January 1. The British cyclo-cross specialist, who previously competed on Kona bikes, will now race on KindHuman bicycles.
"The prospect of putting together my own project was exciting; an opportunity to establish something from scratch with no stone unturned," Wyman wrote on her website.
Wyman said she could have chosen to retire during her search for new sponsors, but with solid support she hopes to continue influencing progress and change for women in cycling from within the sport.
"Alongside racing, I hope to break down barriers for racers around the world. My performance on the bike, as well as my work off the bike, have given me a position of responsibility in the sport where I need to set standards. If I'm not going to do things right, new riders to the sport aren't going to grow up doing it right either.
"I set about finding partners, both endemic and non-endemic to the cycling industry, that understand the potential of women's cyclo-cross and want to drive their sales based upon that understanding."
Wyman's new sponsors and partnerships include Xypex, after she received an unexpected phone call from representative Damian Kelly.
"He loves cross, he loves Belgium and he wanted to help," Wyman wrote. "Partners from outside the industry are key to make a program such as this tick. It shows that our reach as a sport stretches beyond those that are currently invested it. Damian made this partnership happen; he’s clearly a doer in life and my opportunity to proudly represent Xypex from 1 January is one I’m very grateful for."
Verge Sport is the second title sponsor, and longtime partner, has stepped up its support. "All of this will be wrapped up in an image created by Verge Sport. Not only do they make unbelievable clothes, they’re a company with riding at its heart. Their partnership with me has gone from just USA to a true global partnership. They value the input of their athletes and are creating clothing that improves performance and comfort, two essential ingredients to me being happy on the bike."
Verge Sport, my amazing clothing partner have stepped up to title partner to help me create my new program, Xypex - Verge Sport. So proud to continue representing @VergeSport. #TheBigReveal#BornFromRiderspic.twitter.com/UqFQC3BR1d— Helen Wyman (@CXHelen) January 1, 2018
Wyman's sponsors also include KindHuman bicycles. "Being a Kind human, on and off the bike, and making and sustaining a program where everyone involved from fans, partners and other riders are treated as Kind human’s is the goal," Wyman wrote.
In addition to Challenge Tires, Kogel Bearings and Grimpeur Bros, other partners include Feedback Sports, Look Mum No Hands and MotoGP racer Bradley Smith.
"Bradley Smith got in touch and offered to secure my program for the future. His passion for equal opportunity in sport was clear and he provided valued security to ensure the right partnerships could be found. My clothing for 2018 will feature the #38 of Bradley and I’ll be wearing a replica of his GP helmet."