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Multiple National and European cyclocross champion, Helen Wyman, today announced the “NEXT Wyman” project, an initiative aimed at filling the gap between the sport’s leading riders and the up-and-coming individuals that struggle to reach those heights alone.
Despite the name, the initiative is not a search for the next Helen Wyman but rather a support program to help new talent find their footing.
“Hopefully with my input and access to a group of partners and professionals the process of fulfilling potential can be advanced and riders can reach the top quicker. With the introduction of the U23 category at the World Championships and also the rapid growth in live television coverage for women’s racing, there is more interest than ever in our side of the sport. I want NEXT Wyman to be the springboard riders need to help commit to cyclocross and make it their career choice in the sport,” said Wyman in a statement.
Wyman has been a leading advocate for women in cross and has noticed that the gap between the established top riders and the up-and-coming ones isn’t talent or fitness but rather everything else: equipment, access to appropriate events, confidence, quality training facilities, calendar planning, etc.
“NEXT, a wheel company from Vermont USA, is run by long time friend Jerry Chabot, and he actually touted the name to me earlier in the season. Next will be providing wheels to the rider or riders I back. So the name ‘Next Wyman’ reflects our partnership. Hopefully a NEXT Wyman rider can go on to surpass what I’ve achieved in the sport,” commented Wyman.
Wyman revealed that she has already secured backing for one rider and is looking for two additional riders and support to grow the program.
“I will be riding for at least two more seasons with Kona Factory racing, so I want to make sure that these riders are riding alongside me whenever possible in training as well as hitting the best possible racing program for them,” said Wyman. “It’s important to me this process begins while I’m still at the top of my game.”
“I’ve got a massive soft spot for US Cross, and I often see hugely talented riders struggle with the transition. It shouldn’t be hard, but frequently riders are making a combination of tiny energy sapping decisions on and off the bike, which haven’t allowed them to perform to their full potential on the biggest stage. I’d love to help someone out in that respect,” she continued.
Any interested sponsors, riders and equipment suppliers can get in touch with me via firstname.lastname@example.org