Looking ahead to racing Worlds

Helen Wyman (Kona)

Helen Wyman (Kona) (Image credit: Bert Geerts)

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!


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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.