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Analysis: 5 things to watch over ’cross nationals weekend

In Britain, who will take top honors in the women’s race?

One of Great Britain’s most promising young riders, Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea), has already won her share of championships across disciplines — in track, road, mountain bike, and cyclocross. In November she rode what may have been the best race of her thriving career to take victory in the muddy Superprestige round at Gavere. Not bad for someone who just turned 26 in December.

In what should be one of the most hotly contested championship races this weekend, Harris will go up against veteran ’crosser Helen Wyman (Kona), 32, who has won the British national title seven years running. Wyman is a tough competitor who has racked up victories all season long — both in the U.S. and Europe — perhaps most notably when she won the prestigious Koppenbergcross and her first European ’cross championship, in which she beat Rabobank’s Sanne van Paassen of the Netherlands and compatriot Harris.

It’s the future of British women’s ’cross versus the veteran Euro champion, with each rider looking to out-ride the other for the honor of wearing the national jersey ahead of worlds.

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