Five British women – Helen Wyman, Nikki Harris, Amira Mellor, Hannah Payton and Bethany Crumpton – went to the UEC European Cyclocross Championships at Huijbergen in the Netherlands last weekend.
In the Elite race, Harris won bronze finishing just fourteen seconds behind unstoppable victor Sanne Cant of Belgium: a result that might have been very different had the Derbyshire-born rider not crashed in the first lap and been forced to chase for the remainder of the race. Wyman made a characteristically fast start and rode with Cant in a leading group of four before falling back; while she’s always been capable of powerful efforts in the closing laps, the dry circuit was perhaps not to her liking.
Crumpton, Mellor and Payton all finished outside the top ten in the Junior race, but showed an admirable set of skills that prove the future of British women’s cycling is in safe hands. Crumpton’s 13 was especially impressive considering she’d suffered a cold during the days prior to the race, and had been stuck behind a crash early on – and just 24 hours later, all three were back in the UK racing at the Durham round of the National Trophy Series, where they took the top three places!
Elite – 1 Sanne Cant (Belgium) 41’12”
3 Nikki Harris +14″
7 Helen Wyman +1’48”
Youth (U23) – 1 Femke van den Driessche (Belgium) 43’27”
13 Bethany Crumpton +2’47”
20 Amira Mellor +4’32”
22 Hannah Payton +5’10”
All photos © Hans van der Maarel