Broken rear derailleur costs Helen Wyman possible World Cup podium
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Broken rear derailleur costs Helen Wyman possible World Cup podium

by Ben Atkins at 3:23 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
First lap mechanical ruins Pontchâteau race for British champion

helen wymanHelen Wyman (Kona-FSA) started the World Cup race in Pontchâteau, France strongly, hitting the first corner among the first few riders. It was all to go horribly wrong though, midway through the first lap, as her rear derailleur collapsed, forcing the British champion to run to the pits for a replacement bike. By the time she got there, her race was all but over with no chance of seeing the front again.

“I’m gutted, of course I am,” she said after the race. “I came here in great shape, but I guess that’s racing. I’m not quite sure what’s happened yet, but we’ll get it looked into and move forward even more determined for the next event.

“It’s not something I’ve experienced before,” she continued, “and I know these parts are very reliable. It’s just one of those things. It left me with around one kilometre to run to get to the pits. I was 2 minutes and 20 seconds down at the end of the first lap, so for sure it was race over. On top of that I was knackered from the run, and had no riders in sight so could only set my own pace for the entire remainder of the race.”

Her first lap disaster meant that Wyman ended the first lap in 27th place, out of 27 riders, but by the end of the six-lap race she had fought her way back up to 17th. Analysis of her subsequent lap times (6’31”, 6’38”, 6’33”, 6’39” and 6’24”) shows that had it not been for her mechanical problem she might well have been up with the group containing new World Cup leader Sanne Van Paassen (Brainwash Wielerploeg).

Van Paassen won the sprint for fourth, but the group was less than 20 seconds behind third place Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (France). Had her luck been better, Wyman may have been sprinting for a place on the podium.

“My lap times after that put me comfortably with the group of 3 going for 4th place, so I have to be encouraged by my form,” said Wyman. “I know that without the run, I would have had a lot more in my legs and I really believe I could’ve been on the podium. So it’s all about the next 2 weeks now.

“This has blown my chances of climbing up the World Cup rankings and has seriously hit me in the pocket. It hasn’t helped my World Ranking either, but I guess it’s more about keeping focus on the next races and improving my form even more for the World Champs.”

Wyman’s next race will be the seventh and final round of the World Cup in Hoogerheide, Netherlands this coming Sunday, followed by the World Championships in St-Wendel, Germany the weekend after.


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