British cyclocross rider Helen Wyman has always been a fan favourite, and it seems like her racing is getting better than ever. Winning her fourth Koppenbergcross this season, she was on the podiums of the last two Cyclocross World Cups, and with the weather turning wet, rainy and muddy, just as she likes it, this could be just the beginning of an exciting season.
We talked about what’s made a difference, and how the sport has changed over the last five years – including how Helen’s work on the UCI Cyclocross Commission has contributed to that. It’s not all 100% positive, and we also talked about the changes Helen would like to see in the future, as well as losing her sponsor at a tricky time.
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Follow Helen on her instagram, where you can see the videos we talked about, on her twitter, facebook and website.
If you want to re-live some of the races we talked about, there are videos! Bogense CX World Cup highlights and full race replay; Zeven World Cup highlights and full race replay; and highlights of that Koppenbergcross win:
Last winter, young Dutch cyclocross star Sophie de Boer had been thinking about giving up cycling – she’d had a hard season, with mechanicals, crashes and sickness, and after losing her team, it looked like she might not be able to race at all. So it’s great to see her taking a huge step up for the 2014/15 season, winning her first big race at the bpost bank trofee race Ronse, following it up with victory at one of the most famous cyclocross races, Koppenbergcross, and wearing the World Cup leader’s jersey after two rounds. We talked about the season so far, how she’s been able to take that step, what she’s learned, and much more. (36:20 MIN / 34.87 MB)
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Find out more about Sophie on her website, and make sure you’re following her twitter and facebook. Her team, Kalas-NNOF are on facebook too.
Watch the highlights of Sophie’s great start to the 2014/15 season – her wins in the bpost bank trofee Ronse and of course the Koppenbergcross, and her podium places at the World Cups in Valkenburg and Koksijde, and SuperPrestige Gieten. And there’s a Dutch interview with her after Valkenburg here
Sophie will be racing Milton Keynes in the Cyclocross World Cup leader’s jersey on Saturday 29th November, and you can watch her live. And if you want to follow the rest of the women’s CX this season, here’s how.
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When I sat down to talk to European Cyclocross Champion Helen Wyman, our mutual love of talking meant the interview went on for longer than they were expecting – so it was divided into two parts. Part 1 is over here, and now you can listen to Part 2, where Helen describes cyclocross courses, tells you what to watch if you have limited time (just book November out in your diary), talks about racing road at the Friends Life Women’s Tour, and talks prize money, change, and what fans can do to help CX. It includes discussion of Helen’s rôle in getting equal prize money for the Koppenbergcross from the USA, and working with the UCI on the Cyclocross Commission…. and how Kona, and cyclocross, are like that picture-perfect family. (58:03 MIN / 55.73 MB)
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Over the weekend, Helen came second in the first CX World Cup of the season, Valkenburg:
and if you want to watch the full replay of the entire race, it’s here, on the UCI youtube.
Follow Helen on her website and excellent twitter, where she’ll probably answer any question you have – and make sure you check out her page on the Kona website. Koppenbergcross equal prize money was provided by USA-East Coast bike shop Twenty20 Cycling – if you need a bike (a Kona, surely!) and are nearby, buy from them!
For all the details of how to follow the European Cyclocross season, here’s Sarah’s guide to following, and watching, European women’s cyclocross.
It’s pretty crazy, but bike races in Europe have major prize differentiations between women and men – and it runs across different kinds of racing. Last week there was a great “first” – the Koppenbergcross became the first European C1 cyclocross race to offer equal prizes, and it’s especially interesting because the money behind it – just €5,000! – was put up by Twenty20 Cycling, a 2-shop bike company based in Baltimore USA. So political, I love it, the fact it takes a USA bike shop to bring this step towards equality to Europe!
Kona rider Helen Wyman has been instrumental in making this happen, and I interviewed her last week on Podium Café about the process, the politics, and why it means so much more than just money. More things you might like to read about this include:
And follow them all on twitter – Koppenbergcross, Twenty20 and Helen Wyman.
Here’s hoping that other cyclocross races follow suit – and the road races with women’s and men’s editions, like Flèche Wallonne, Omloop het Nieuwsblad and Ronde van Vlaanderen step up too.
Update! Here’s this week’s GCN News video, with Helen talking about all this
This week Helen Wyman drops by to talk to us about all things cyclocross including how it was to win Koppenberg Cross and then successfully defend her European Championship. We also talk technical stuff like her new Chicane tyres from Challenge and her disc brake setup. She gives us some insight into the ‘cross riders to be watching out for when Worlds rolls around and tells us some great stories about races from the past and more recent times. We laugh a lot and swear a bit too! ( 1:14:43 MIN / 71.73 MB)
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To find out more about Helen, visit her excellent website, and follow her twitter, and like her facebook fan page.
It’s that time of year again, when there are at least two cyclocross races every weekend at the highest European level, and it can get a bit bewildering, trying to follow it all. So I’m here to tell you how I follow the women’s races, and just as importantly, which ones I prioritise.
I first got into the muddy, brilliant, exciting, insane sport of cyclcocross because of Caroline, aka tgsgirl. We used to hang out on the BBC 606 cycling forum, and gs’ passion for it made me HAVE to watch it to see what it’s all about. One of the great things gs does is write a cyclocross calendar on Podium Café, with really funny descriptions of each race that I base my viewing choices around (I mean, the races start at 2pm, I can’t spend EVERY weekend day glued to the laptop!). So I always check in with that to decide what to watch. The races I’m going to do my best not to miss this year are the Koksijde World Cup on 23rd November (the one on the sand-dunes), Scheldecross on 7th December (off-camber fun, and I always hope the Schelde will flood), the Namur World Cup on 22nd December (steep and technical, on the beautiful Namur citadel) and of course, the World Championships on 1st February 2014.
But how will I watch it?
It’s another big weekend for live cycling, with great track and cyclocross, and it’s all streamable! Here’s what to watch and why
If you’ve never watch CX, it’s a really fun, muddy, crazy sport, and this weekend is the most perfect time to start. Here’s broerie’s guide to CX for newbies, and tgsgirl’s must-see cyclocross calendar, which describes the races (and makes me laugh out loud) and the Velorooms season preview, which lists who’s who to watch – but if you want CX in a sentence, here’s mine: Riders race laps of a course that includes man-made and natural obstacles like sand, hills and barriers, which is so hard they have to get off and run with the bikes at points – they race for an hour (50 mins for the women) and the first across the line wins!