Women's European 'cross championship podium (L-R): Sanne van Paassen, Helen Wyman and Nikki Harris
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Briton also adds second Koppenbergcross win to palmares
It's been a rewarding week for Helen Wyman (Kona) as the British cyclo-cross star earned her best ever World Cup result last Sunday (2nd to Katie Compton in Plzen), won the demanding Koppenbergcross for a second time on Thursday and capped off the seven-day stretch with a European 'cross championship on Saturday. Adding to the lustre of Saturday's European championship was the fact that it was won on home soil in Ipswich, England.
"I've had a pretty spectacular week," Wyman told British Cycling. "Second in the World Cup, winning at Koppenberg on Thursday and now winning here is pretty exciting. I really wanted to win here today although Koppenberg was my goal and I knew if I had the form there I could carry it on to today."
Wyman had a fierce rival at the European 'cross championship in the Netherlands' Sanne van Paassen, winner of this season's first World Cup round, who pushed Wyman to the limit in a race decided by half a wheel at the finish line. And while Wyman took a taxing victory on the Koppenberg just two days prior, van Paassen opted to skip the Belgian race and arrived fresh for the European championship race.
"I did feel tired at Koppenberg because of the amount of travelling we had been doing but I did feel pretty fresh today," said Wyman. "I knew I could hold my own on this course and van Paassen was the person to beat, both [compatriot] Nikki [Harris] and I actually spoke about that and we both agreed that we had to beat her.
"I tried to attack her a few times but she's the sort of rider you just cannot shift," continued Wyman. "When we came onto the finishing straight I knew I could beat her because it was an uphill sprint and the crowd were screaming at me to win. I've been waiting my whole career to have a home advantage and finally I get to win and they had to dig out the national anthem."
Next up for Wyman is a trip back to the United States, where she opened her season with nine victories, to contest the fifth and sixth rounds of the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross (USGP) in Louisville, Kentucky on November 10-11. The venue is the site of the 2013 cyclo-cross world championships and the USGP will provide an opportunity to preview the exact parcours to be utilised in February for Worlds.