National Cross Champs
Funding initiative led by Helen Wyman boosts female participation for Kent showdown
There will be a bumper female contingent at the National Cyclo-cross Championship this weekend, thanks to a new initiative created by reigning women’s champion Helen Wyman. Supported by Kindhuman bicycles and the 5th Floor organisation, the Helen100 scheme raised money to fund the entry of more than 100 young women across a variety of categories in the Nationals, which will be held on a challenging course at Cyclopark, Gravesend, Kent on January 12-13.
Around £3,000 was raised in total, which has funded every female rider in every category, from under-14 up to and including under-23. The idea, says Wyman, is not so much nurturing young talent as encouraging participation for its own sake.
“I think there are enough talent programmes detecting the next Evie Richards, or the next Harriet Harnden,” Wyman said. “I feel all young women should have access to sport and an environment where they can compete, whether that’s just for fun or to win the World Championship.”
With plenty of strength in depth across all categories, the weekend promises some exciting racing. Both Wyman (Xypex-verge Sport) and reigning men’s champion Grant Ferguson will be back to defend their elite titles, and will be tussling with Nikki Brammeier and Ian Field respectively. With the under-23 events incorporated into the elites they will be locking swords with the likes of Evie Richards (Trek Factory Racing) and Tom Pidcock (TP Racing), who both return to defend in that category.
Wyman: Helen100 scheme raised £3,000