Nikki Harris (Boels Dolmans CT) came back to win the women’s elite race at the British National Cyclo-cross championships in Shrewsbury on Sunday, beating Helen Wyman (Kona) into second place. Delia Beddis (ViCiOUS Velo) completed the podium and finished in third place.
Defending champion Wyman had the led the race right up until the final lap when a crash saw her taken down. She struggled with a mechanical as a result, leaving Harris to power through and take the win.
The win was Harris’ second elite national title after her first in 2013. She had come into the race suffering from a recent illness but she put that well behind her on the challenging course.
“The last part of the Christmas period didn’t got as I wanted,” admitted Harris. “I had some forced rest with getting sick. Last week, I went to Girona for a few good days of resting and training.”
“I came into nationals a little unsure of my form, but I really liked the course,” Harris said. “It’s heavy and muddy, and my new bikes rode really great. I’m so happy I could take the title – and that I could do it Boels-Dolmans colours.”
Wyman looked up for the fight in the early part of the race and set the pace from the start.
“It took me a lap to really get into the race,” Harris explained. “I felt stronger as the race went on. Helen had a gap after a lap, but I managed to come back to her mid-race. It was a battle until the end.
The last lap started dramatically. Wyman opened up a gap when Harris dropped a chain.
“Helen gained some time on me when I had a mechanical at the start of the last lap,” said Harris. “I thought my race was over, but I didn’t give up.”
“In the last sections, Helen struggled with a bank, and her chain came off. She was just ahead me at that point. I went past her, and I didn’t look back.”
Harris will race on the road for Boels Dolmans CT during the season as she bids to make the Great Britain Olympic road team in August. Today, though, was all about her off-road skils.
“This one means more to me than the first title because it was such a battle. This first wine was special, too, but I’m a different athlete now than I was in 2013, and I appreciate the wins more now because the competition level is so much higher.”
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Nikki Harris (Boels Dolmans)||0:49:49|
|2||Helen Wyman (Kona / FSA Factory Team)||0:00:55|
|3||Delia Beddis (Vicious Velo)||0:05:18|
|4||Diane Lee (Cannondale Girls)||0:07:52|
|5||Annabel Simpson (Hope Factory Racing)||0:09:58|
|6||Claire Beaumont (Vicious Velo)||0:13:01|
|7||Flo Dannah (Individual Member)||0:15:28|
|8||Ruby Miller (Hargroves Cycles Ridley)||0:15:58|
|9||Rebecca Richardson (Hafren)|
|10||Sarah Barber (North Hampshire)|
|11||Sam Burman (Team WNT)|
|12||Ruth Taylor (Manchester Wheelers)|
|13||Lisa Webb (Team Milton Keynes)|
|DNF||Elanor Cadzow (Welwyn Wheelers)|
|DNF||Fran Whyte (Bicester Millennium)|
|DNF||Karen Lennox (Team Milton Keynes)|
|DNF||Suzanne Golder (Team Milton Keynes)|