Helen Wyman (Kona FFSA Factory Team) beat Nikki Harris (VZW Young Telenet Fidea) to take her ninth British cyclo-cross championship in Abergavenny, on Sunday.
The 33-year-old beat Harris by around 15 seconds after a close race.
Annie Last produced a late charge to pick her way through the field to take third place.
The race was always going to be about Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea) and Helen Wyman (Kona FSA Factory Team) – Wyman started the race with eight titles to her name, having won every year from 2006 to 2014 except 2013, when Harris won, and both of them wanted the title badly.
It’s been a tough season for them both, with Harris suffering from tendonitis and a knee injury, and Wyman having a series of crashes in November and then a virus over Christmas – but with Worlds looming, they fought together for two laps before Wyman pulled away, extending her lead from six seconds to 16 after half an hour of racing.
No matter what Harris tried, she couldn’t pull back, and had to settle for second, Wyman taking her ninth title.
Behind the leading pair, the battle for third was hard-fought. 2014 Junior Champion and local rider Ffion James made a strong start, but was soon overhauled by Annie Last, racing as an independent, and Amira Mellor (Paul Milnes Cycles – Bradford Olympic). At just 17, Mellor has had a strong season, winning the overall National Trophy Cyclo-Cross Series at the beginning of January, while Last is better known as a cross country MTB rider.
Their different skills were evident throughout the race, Last breaking away on the long runs and Mellor catching and getting ahead on the technical sections. They duelled together up until the second half of the last lap, when Last finally shook her rival off to gain the bronze medal – Mellor finished fourth, but took the National Junior title as compensation.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Helen Wyman (Kona / FSA Factory Team)||0:39:29|
|2||Nikki Harris (Young Telenet Fidea CT)||0:00:29|
|3||Annie Last (Individual Member)||0:01:44|
|4||Amira Mellor (Paul Milnes Cycles)||0:02:04|
|5||Alice Barnes (T-Mo Racing)||0:02:18|
|6||Hannah Payton (The Kinesis Morvelo Project)||0:02:22|
|7||Evie Richards (T-Mo Racing)||0:02:57|
|8||Annabel Simpson (Hope Factory Racing)||0:03:48|
|9||Ffion James (Abergavenny RC)||0:04:03|
|10||Isla Rowntree (Islabikes)||0:04:23|
|11||Tracy Moseley (T-Mo Racing)||0:04:57|
|12||Sarah Murray (www.cxmagazine.com)||0:05:15|
|13||Ruby Miller (Hargroves Cycles Ridley RT)||0:05:34|
|14||Diane Lee (Team Mulebar Girl Sigma Sport)||0:05:51|
|15||Isla Short (Team Thomsons Cycles)||0:06:04|
|16||Abigail Van Twisk (Cycle Lab)||0:06:25|
|17||Kate George (Team Empella Cyclo-Cross.com)||0:06:59|
|18||Rebecca Preece (Contessa Scott Syncros)||0:07:08|
|19||Rachel Fenton (Trek Bicycle Coventry)||0:07:27|
|20||Martha Gill (PH-MAS Cycling)||0:08:54|
|21||Claire Beaumont (Vicious Velo)||0:09:03|
|22||Joanna Rycroft (www.cxmagazine.com)||0:09:21|
|23||Laura Greenhalgh (Imperial Racing Team)||0:09:28|
|24||Emily Barnes (Team Mulebar Girl Sigma Sport)|
|25||Anna Cipullo (Hargroves Cycles Ridley RT)|
|26||Alice Miller (Look Mum No Hands!)|
|27||Clover Murray (Braintree Velo Cycle RC)|
|DNF||Elanor Cadzow (PMR@ToachimHouse)|
|DNF||Hannah Saville (North Midlands Youth Squad)|
|DNF||Verity Appleyard (Brotherton Cycles)|