Christine Vardaros caught up with the British women before worlds and got their thoughts on today’s big race.
Nikki Harris of UK is competing in her first season of cyclocross with much success, regularly finishing in the low teens in World Cups and making the podium in other UCI events. She is the one to watch in the future, even as early as next year.
Gabby has posted a top ten at a world cup and steadily comes in top 20 in World Cups. She has also made it on the podium at numerous uci events and came in 2nd at UK national championships.
Helen Wyman (featured in Issue 5) is a four-time British Cyclocross National Champion and has race a full season at the World Cups. She’ll race road this season with Olympic champion Nicole Cooke.
1. How do you feel going into your first ever Cyclo-Cross World Championships?
NH: I’m looking forward to the race. I’ve done mountain bike and track world championships before and this is my first time for the cross. I think the atmosphere will be great. I’ve done all the training. All i need to do now is go hard for forty minutes and hope I do the best ride I can on the day.
GD: Here is an interview from gabby day. both of these interviews were done this morning. Gabby has posted a top ten at a world cup and steadily comes in top 20 in World Cups. She has also made it on the podium at numerous uci events and came in 2nd at UK national championships.
HW: Pretty excited. I love the course and have always ridden well here, although the weather conditions are not as muddy as i would have liked! When it is muddy it suits my strengths better than when it is frozen. But it is still a hard course – so the harder the better for me!
2. What is your goal for Worlds?
NH: My goal is to give it everything in the race and whatever the result is, that’s where i am at the moment. I can’t really say what position I want, but a top ten I would be made up with!
GD: Last years Worlds was a big disappointment for me due to mechanical problems. So I really want a great result this year – something that I will be happy with. A top 15 is what I would like to aim for and I think it is realistic as long as I’m feeling strong. There are a lot of great riders this year so it’s going to be a tough race.
Hoogerheide is a tough circuit especially in the mud! I tend to go well on tough circuits especially if they are muddy. However the circuit may be frozen with hard ground so it would be pretty fast but tough at the same time as there are some long drags up on it. I have ridden well this year on some fast circuits so I will just have to give it my all. It’s what it is and it’s the same for everyone.
HW: I genuinely think this year has been the hardest year since i have been racing cross in terms of competition. Hanka [Kupfernagel] and Katie [Compton] are obviously a step ahead of the rest currently but as for the third podium place i genuinely believe it could come from any one of 10 people! There are so many of us fighting for a top 10 this year it just makes it so much harder. As for me, realistically i would be very happy with a top 5.
3. Is there a British Team tactic planned for the race?
GD: There is no [UK Team] tactic planned for this race. We all want a great result at the Worlds, so we’ll ride our own races. Obviously if we are in the same group then we wouldn’t work each other over and do stupid things.
HW: Erm….. yeah, not really. But [my trade team] Vision 1 has three girls in the race so maybe me and Gabs can work with Christel [Ferrier-Bruneau] a little bit but I don’t think we will have the opportunity to employ any team work just yet.
4. Do you plan to take Harry [her Teddy Bear] onto the podium with you?
HW: Of course! I would never live it down if i didn’t!