After a season of uncertainty about her future, Helen Wyman has a team for the 2018 season.
Wyman announced the launch of her new “Xypex – Verge Sport” program beginning today. The two title sponsors will be joined by KindHuman Bicycles, which will be her bike sponsor for the upcoming season.
Xypex, Verge and KindHuman will be Wyman’s main sponsors, but her program will also feature an impressive mix of companies that have stepped up to ensure Wyman can continue to race at the international level in the new year.
“I set about finding partners, both endemic and non-endemic to the cycling industry that understand the potential of women’s cyclocross and want to drive their sales based upon that understanding,” said Wyman about her partnerships. “Sponsorship is a privilege, not a right, and it’s my responsibility to create a return for all of my partners. This is only achieved with unique points of return for each partner and my belief in a product to help develop it.”
Kind Humans at KindHuman
KindHuman has been one of Wyman’s strongest backers since she began looking for partners for her new program. When we profiled Jonathan Page’s KindHuman Kudu, he told a story of KindHuman reaching out to him after a family emergency. The company again lived up to its name (although Wyman will be riding the disc version of the Kudu).
“They have been a leader in establishing the ‘Xypex – Verge Sport’ program and have kept the project focused simply by their name,” said Wyman about KindHuman. “Being a kind human, on and off the bike, and making and sustaining a program where everyone involved including fans, partners and other riders are treated as kind humans is the goal.”
In addition to her new KindHuman bike, Wyman will also be wearing a special helmet. MotoGP racer Bradley Smith stepped up and offered support. Wyman will have his number 38 on her jersey and will wear a replica of his GP helmet.
Xypex is the X-Factor
Wyman said she is an eternal optimist and that optimism was rewarded by the support of chemical company Xypex, which makes waterproofing for concrete. Xypex is a UK distributor of products produced in Canada. How did Xypex come to be a sponsor of a cyclocross rider?
“When we were in Germany at the World Cup, this guy Damian rung us up out of the blue and said, ‘I think it’s terrible that you don’t have a sponsor. I love ’cross. I watched you win at Koppenberg and thought it was amazing. I want to support you’,” said Wyman about how she connected with the company.
Wyman said it was Xypex’s support that helped guarantee she would have a program for 2018.
Verge Sport Continues to Support Wyman
Wyman’s other title sponsor will be Verge Sport. The clothing company will be providing her new threads for 2018. Wyman has partnered with Verge in the past, and the company will now be stepping up to the role of one of her title sponsors.
“All of this will be wrapped up in an image created by Verge Sport,” said Wyman. “Not only do they make unbelievable clothes, they’re a company with riding at its heart. Their partnership with me has gone from just one in the U.S. to a true global partnership. They value the input of their athletes and are creating clothing that improves performance and comfort, two essential ingredients to me being happy on the bike.”
Many Key Partnerships
In addition to Wyman’s main sponsors, she will have a number of partnerships. Some are old, some are new, but all of them are like-minded companies and individuals who share Wyman’s vision for her program and the sport of cyclocross.
Wyman’s main partners include:
- Challenge Tires
- Kogel Bearings
- Grimpeur Brothers Coffee
- Feedback Sports
- Look Mum No Hands Cafe in London
- Charm City Cyclocross
In her Wyman Wednesday columns, Wyman has made it clear she still loves racing. She has also turned in results this season that justify her desire to stay in the sport. She won a memorable duel with Katie Compton at Koppenbergcross and then finished second at the Bogense and Zeven World Cups.
“I still have the ambition to be at the top of the sport,” she said. “I enjoy every pedal turn and get inspired watching young riders create new pathways in the sport. I’m excited by the progress the sport has made over the past few years and encouraged by the avenues for change already in place.”
“I believe that the best place for me to influence the sport is from within. My immediate goals remain unchanged; to be the best I can be and represent my sponsors in a positive light. I’m exceedingly grateful for the opportunities offered to me, and never take them for granted.”
Wyman said continuing to advocate for women’s cyclocross and developing the next generation of the women cyclocrossers is part of the goal of her new program. To that end. Wyman, her husband Stef and Kris Auer of Twenty20 will be launching a coaching business as part of the program.
Said Wyman, “Off the bike, I’m keen to develop riders and products to make cyclocross a more inviting place for sponsors, riders and families.”
Breaking Down Barriers
Wyman has been a leader women in the sport of cyclocross during her entire career, including four years on the UCI Cyclocross Commission. She said the ultimate goal of her program is to not only race at the Elite level, but continue to develop women’s cycling and the sport in general.
“Alongside racing, I hope to break down barriers for racers around the world. My performances on the bike, as well as my work off the bike, have given me a position of responsibility in the sport where I need to set standards. If I’m not going to do things right, new riders to the sport aren’t going to grow up doing it right either.”
You can look for Wyman with her new kit and bike on Monday at the GP Sven Nys in Baal. The rest of her season’s schedule is below.
Helen Wyman’s 2018 Calendar
1 January — IJsboerke Trofee, Baal (Belgium)
14 January — British National Championships, Hetton Lyons Country Park (UK)
15 January — Otegem (Belgium)
21 January — World Cup Nommay (France)
27 January — Rucphen, (Holland)
28 January — World Cup Hoogerheide (Holland)
03 February — World Championships, Valkenburg (Holland)
10 February — IJsboerke Trofee, Lille (Belgium)
11 February — Hoogstraten (Belgium)