Helen Wyman, who came close to retiring last year as she struggled to find sponsors for the current season, has become British National Cyclo-cross champion for the 10th time.
On the second day of the national championships in Sunderland today Grant Ferguson triumphed in the men’s elite race.
The under-23 titles went to two hugely exciting prospects, both of whom have won age-group world titles, with Tom Pidcock winning the men’s event and Evie Richards, who last month took her first World Cup victory at elite level, claiming the women’s title.
Wyman, aged 36, announced at the start of this month that she had set up her own team, Xypex-Verge Sport, and today went head-to-head with rival Nikki Brammeier, the only woman to break her dominance of the event over the past 13 years.
She won her first national title in the discipline in 2006 and has since won all but three of the subsequent edition, with Brammeier winning in 2013 and 2016, then retaining her title 12 months ago.
During the final three laps of today’s race, Wyman tried to distance Brammeier on the uphill sections of the course, finally distancing her rival on the last circuit, with the Mudiiiita Canyon rider finishing second and Beth Crumpton of Storey Racing third.
“I knew it was going to be a good battle today and I really had to think about how to win that race because Nikki was super strong,” said Wyman, quoted on the British Cycling website.
She added: “I really enjoyed being in the battle.”
Ferguson, a past winner of the men’s under-23 title and reigning national cross-country champion in mountain biking, beat five-time winner Ian Field to the men’s title. Liam Killeen, victorious in 2016, was third.
CST American Eagle rider Ferguson said afterwards: “It means a lot, I’ve been trying really hard for this so I’m really happy.
“I knew Ian and Liam would be the main competition so I was fully prepared.
“We were together at the early part and I didn’t realise Liam had crashed so there was a bit of a gap and me and Ian were away, so I thought ‘well, now is a good time to have a shot’.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.