Great Britain's Helen Wyman wins European Cyclo-Cross championship in Ipswich

Four GB rider among top eight finishers

Helen Wyman, British women’s cyclo-cross champion for seven years running, won the European championship for the first time at Chantry Park in Ipswich today. Great Britain team mate Nikki Harris came third, the pair separated by Sanne Van Paassen of the Netherlands.

The 32-year-old Wyman, who is based in Oudenaarde in Belgium, had won the Koppenbergcross there last Thursday and carried that form into today’s race.

From early on, it looked as though it would be Wyman and Van Paassen who would fight it out for the win as they gradually distanced the rest of the field, the Briton managing to outsprint the Dutchwoman to the line to win the title.

Harris, meanwhile was secure in the bronze medal position, crossing the line nearly half a minute ahead of Christel Ferrier-Bruneau of France. Of the six British starters in the 39-strong field, two others got into the top eight places, Gabby Day and Louise Robinson, who finished seventh and eighth respectively.

That strong team performance is further confirmation of the rise of Great Britain’s women in cyclo-cross, and not just at European level – the country recently leapfrogged the United States into second place in the world ranking behind the Netherlands, with Wyman ranked fourth individually and Harris eighth.

Marianne Vos, world and Olympic road race champion, and winner of the world cyclo-cross championship for the fifth time at the start of this year, remains top of the rankings but was not in Ipswich today.

Instead she was in rather sunnier climes, riding for Rabobank in the Amstel Curacao race where she was the second woman home behind Ellen Van Dijk of Specialized-Lululemon. Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Niki Terpstra was the winner of the race which has a field that uniquely features men and women, professionals and amateurs alike.

Among those who were at Ipswich today, albeit as a spectator, was former world junior cyclo-cross champion Roger Hammond, who won his title in Roundhay Park in Leeds in 1992.

Two decades on, and after a career on the road where Paris-Roubaix became his obsession, his best finish being third behind Magnus Backstedt in 2004, Hammond’s final race was here in Ipswich in the national cyclo-cross championships in January this year.

With no men’s elite category in the European championships, the Netherlands won both the other two events today, Mike Teunissen winning the men’s under-23 race and Mathieu Van Der Poel taking the junior title.

The European championships may be over, but there’s still more racing to come on the Ipswich circuit on Sunday when it plays host to Round 2 of the National Trophy and more information can be found on the event website.

European Cyclo-Cross Championships 2012 results

Women’s Elite

1  Helen WYMAN                 GBR 43:52
2  Sanne VAN PAASSEN           NED 43:52
3  Nikki HARRIS                GBR 44:16
4  Christel FERRIER-BRUNEAU    FRA 44:42
5  Sanne CANT                  BEL 45:06
6  Lucie CHAINEL-LEFEVRE       FRA 45:18
7  Gabriella DAY               GBR 45:22
8  Louise ROBINSON             GBR 45:52
9  Sophie DE BOER              NED 46:13
10 Ellen VAN LOY               BEL 46:20

Men’s Under-23

1  Mike TEUNISSEN              NED 48:19
2  Corne VAN KESSEL            NED 48:19
3  Julian ALAPHILIPPE          FRA 48:20
4  Jens ADAMS                  BEL 48:21
5  Wout VAN AERT               BEL 48:28
6  Emiel DOLFSMA               NED 48:38
7  Clément VENTURINI           FRA 48:41
8  Tim MERLIER                 BEL 48:41
9  Toon AERTS                  BEL 48:41
10 Michael VANTHOURENHOUT      BEL 48:41

25 Steven JAMES                GBR 50:04 
28 Ben SUMNER                  GBR 50:30  
31 Hugo ROBINSON               GBR 50:50

Men’s Junior

1  Mathieu VAN DER POEL        NED 41:25
2  Clement RUSSO               FRA 41:56
3  Yannick PEETERS             BEL 41:56
4  Martijn BUDDING             NED 42:03
5  Nicolas CLEPPE              BEL 42:08
6  Gioele BERTOLINI            ITA 42:28
7  Kobe GOOSSENS               BEL 42:37
8  Thomas JOSEPH               BEL 42:50
9  Quinten HERMANS             BEL 43:12
10 Richard JANSEN              NED 43:13

14 Jake WOMERSLEY              GBR 43:19 
27 Adam KING                   GBR 44:31 
28 Harry FRANKLIN              GBR 44:31 
29 Billy HARDING               GBR 44:56 

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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