• 2017/05/19 Helen Wyman interview
    • Helen Wyman interview

      It’s a few months since the CX season finished.  With a bit of time to reflect on it, how do you feel it went?

       

      Well it started really well, in the USA I had some good rides, I especially enjoyed the win I took at Jingle Cross in the Friday night race.  It was a muddy night race and a lot of fun.  The crowds there are always amazing as well so that’s a bonus.

       

      Sadly it wasn’t too long after I returned to Europe that I broke my collarbone among other injuries.  That really put my season on hold, and to be honest for a long time I didn’t think I’d get back to racing that season.  I’m glad I did get back to the last few races, although I wasn’t particularly fit.  I managed 16th at Worlds on a tricky course, but the most positive part of the end of the season was 2nd place in the superprestige race in Hoogstraten.

       

       

      What’s been happening since the end of the season?

       

      I had quite a different end to the season as I actually carried on riding for a few weeks.  I’d missed so many weeks during the season, I wasn’t exhausted like normal when the last races were over.  So I ran a series of CX clinics in the UK, which gave me a chance to help out several hundred British riders.  It was a lot of fun, and especially good to see so many good young riders keen to pursue a career on the bike.

       

      After that I took a couple of weeks off and went to Florida for some sun with some close friends from the USA.   Then I guess it was back to normal, and putting in the hours on the bike.  I want a big 2017/18 season, so I’m leaving no stone unturned.

       

       

      There have been a lot of changes in the Challenge CX range over the past 4 season; how have you found them and if you could only ever ride one tread type again, which one would it be?

       

      The changes have been pretty huge and I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the development process.  I guess the new Team Edition casing was the key to changing the range, and the difference is amazing.  I love the new upgraded Baby Limus we got this past season, and the Dune is something very special.  It’s far more versatile than just a sand tyre and I use it a lot.  It’s also my go to training tire.

       

      If I could only every use one tread in the future, I’d go for the Baby Limus.  It’s a great mud tire, and I’d use this as an excuse to never go to dry fast races again haha.

       

       

      Do you have any pre-race routines that are important you?

       

      I always listen to music before an event.  I set a playlist according to my warm up, and try to change it regularly to keep things fresh.  I think the music is actually more about getting some space for myself.  In Belgium, the most vital element of our racing is the huge crowds, but to get 30 minutes with no distractions in that environment isn’t easy. 

       

      Apart from that, it’s a pretty standard routine of pre-riding a course, maybe a couple of times to make sure I give my mechanics plenty of work.  I always have a chat with them, and speak about any race strategies, tire pressures and anything else important.

       

       

      What are you’re plans for the coming season and is there anything new we should know about?

       

      I’ve be wearing new clothes, and racing a new bike from Kona, so there will be a very different look in the camp this year.  I’m pretty excited to get on the new machines, and I’ll be starting my season in USA like normal.  I do plan a full season in Belgium, with the big series events, so I’m currently keeping an eye open for a place to rent there for the winter.  I’m living in southern France now and it’s given me a huge opportunity with amazing weather and beautiful routes for training.  I feel pretty lucky, and I’m enjoying every minute of it.