Wyman, game face on, going for bronze at UCI Cyclocross World Championships 2014 Elite Women. © Thomas van Bracht
Helen Wyman has been a busy racer—though not so busy that she neglected a vacation after taking bronze at Worlds back in February! Now, in her offseason, she’s training, racing, and working with the UCI to further women’s cycling, in particular, women’s cyclocross. We caught up with her to get the scoop on her recent adventures.
Cyclocross Magazine: What have you been up to since we last saw you at Worlds?
Helen Wyman: I’ve been busy holidaying, training and racing. All in that order, haha!
CXM: The UCI just made two big changes for women’s World Cups—do you see it as a big step, or is there still a lot of change needed?
HW: I see the World Cup selection as a good thing for women’s ’cross. It stops federations saying that a rider is too old, even though they are still in the top-25 in the world, or saying, ‘we don’t like you so you are not racing.’ This happens too often in the women’s peleton. Plus, now over Christmas week, American women know exactly what the selection criteria is for their country for World Cups. Get in the top 50 in the world and you get to ride—simple!
CXM: How do you feel about the new 40-50 min ruling? Would you rather see it shift to the same as the men’s race?
HW: We have this awesome guy on the commission who does stats. He’s the kind of person you would want to carry with you in life, as he just has facts. European races last season, if in doubt they erred on the short side, so I raced quite a few 36 minute races. In fact, three World Cups—from the stats man—showed we would need to have an extra lap with this new rule. In my personal opinion, if you said, ‘right, everything the same, let’s do 1 hour,’ that’s 25 minutes more than a lot of current races. How do you train in three months to be good at that distance? I feel it’s better to go one lap at a time, until we reach what is a happy race distance for us based on performance, exciting racing, media value and sponsorship return. Just my opinion.
I know in USA you guys already have pretty much bang-on 40 minutes, but now you can add another lap if you wanted too, as you can race up to 50minutes!
CXM: Still riding for Kona this coming season?
HW: Love Kona, love, love, love! So yes I am… Plus you cant actually get a better ’cross bike anywhere. Disclaimer: I am biased, but it’s all true!
CXM: Have you made plans for racing in the US again this fall? If so, when are you back?
HW: I most certainly am and will be doing the usual will let you know when its all set—starting in Vegas for sure though!
CXM: Psyched for a World Cup in the UK?How well do you think it will be attended?
HW: I am so excited for the Milton Keynes World Cup. I get to see the course in a couple of weeks and I’m told it has a hill, so it should suit me. I really can’t wait, I just want everyone to come out and support us, please! If it’s anything like the women’s tour UCI pro stage race back in May, it will be a huge huge success, and hopefully the moment is right for it. I think it is.