Belgian team Experza-Footlogix announced the signing of multiple former British cyclo-cross champion Helen Wyman. The signing of Wyman solidifies the team’s decision to focus primarily on cyclo-cross.
“Joining Experza is a natural step for me, and finally I will ride for the team owner Christel Herremans who I have known in the sport for such a long time,” said Wyman. “They are so motivated to give long term opportunities to ‘cross riders. Their plan is to help riders right through the categories is exciting and something I haven’t seen yet. It’s needed in the sport and to be a part of shaping that plan has been really good. Their plans link perfectly with mine and I can’t wait to get started.”
Wyman, a professional for over a decade, has been racing as an individual rider under the banner of Xypex-Verge Sport for the last year. After lengthy discussions, she will be bringing some of her sponsors to her new team with Xypex, Kogel bearings and her bike supplier KindHuman Bicycles new additions to the jersey.
As well as riding for the team, Wyman will provide mentorship for the youthful team with the owners hoping to provide a set-up that accommodates junior, under 23 and elite women. In a press release on the team website, they confirmed that they will run training days in Belgium for young riders, who could them join their junior programme. The team will also hold training camps in South West France, Wyman’s adopted home.
“With Helen, we have signed more than just a rider; we have signed a vital cog in the development of our team. Our transition from professional road team to UCI cyclocross team is such an exciting time for the team, and with Helen, we think we can accelerate our transition in the sport,” said team manager Christel Herremans.
Wyman competed in her first race with the team in Otegem and finished fifth at 50 seconds behind the race winner Denise Betsema, while her new teammate, and recent runner up at the British national championships, Anna Kay finished eighth
The Experza-Footlogix team have been racing since 2013, but underwent some changes over the winter after losing a sponsor one year into a three-year deal. Traditionally, the team has focused on both the road and cyclo-cross, and had been looking to progress further on the road in the 2019 season. However, the departure of the sponsor forced them to take stock and they chose to reduce their road ambitions for the foreseeable.
Instead, they will pool their resources into cyclo-cross with Wyman a huge boost to their line-up. The 37-year-old has won the British national championship on 10 occasions, taking the title most recently last year, she also has two European titles to her name.
As well as Kay, the team currently has Manon Bakker, Jessy Druyts, Trine Holmsgaard and Hazel Magill.