After returning from a mid-season training camp in Portugal, a refreshed Helen Wyman (Kona/FSA) returned to racing with a bang in Germany this weekend. Having never been to the Karl-Wagner-Preis International or the Internationale Dohlauer Crossrennen before, it was a step into the unknown for the Belgian-based Kona Pro, but it proved to be a great weekend.
On Saturday in the Dohlauler International, Helen blasted away on the first descent and never looked backed, taking the victory by over a minute from former teammate Birgit Hollmann. “The course could have been anywhere in the UK really, it reminded me of the some the courses I have ridden back home. The most important thing for me today was to see that my season’s building well and my training camp was pitched at the right level. Judging by today, it was,” said Wyman after the race.
Sunday was a very different kind of race with much more of a mountain bike feel to many parts of the course. The field also brought the race to another level with the addition of Hanka Kupfernagel and Pavla Havlikova. Havlikova is the current leader of the GVA trophy, while Kupfernagel needs little introduction.
Pushing very hard from the start, Kupfernagel and Wyman broke from the chasing pack of five on the first lap. With the two pushing each other right to end, it always looked like it would be a very tight finish to the race. Hanka, proved to be just too clever in the last 400 meters and pipped Helen at the line. Pavla finished 3rd, with Birgit again finishing best of the rest.
“It’s always a pleasure to do battle with Hanka. It’s basically like bike school when you get to go wheel for wheel with the best ever female crosser. You can’t pay for that kind of training anywhere in the world. Yeah, I’m annoyed I couldn’t finish it off and win, but it’s been a great weekend. Bring on Koksijde,” commented Wyman.
Full Results – Dohlauer International
Full Results – Karl-Wagner-Pries International