With a combination of sponsors and backers including MotoGP rider Bradley Smith, Helen Wyman will don a new kit and saddle up on a Kindhuman bike for 2018. Her team will be known as Xypex-Verge Sport.
“I was asked many times if I was leaving the sport, and it was a conceivable option,” she said in a statement. “But now, with the backing I have received, I can continue chasing my dreams and then, when the time is right, choose to leave the sport I love.”
Wyman, 36, is arguably the most successful British cyclocross rider, having finished third at 2014 world championships, won two European championships, as well a pair of second-place results at World Cups in 2017.
She’s also an advocate for women’s cycling and a member of the UCI’s Cyclocross Commission. VeloNews recently interviewed Wyman about the state of ‘cross and how it can be improved. “I believe that the best place for me to influence the sport is from within,” she said.
After nine years riding for Kona Bicycles, Wyman has created her own individual race program. Along with her title sponsors and Kindhuman, Wyman is sponsored by Challenge Tires, Kogel Bearings, Grimpeur Bros coffee, Feedback Sports, and Look Mum No Hands.
“I set about finding partners, both endemic and non-endemic to the cycling industry that understand the potential of women’s cyclocross and want to drive their sales based upon that understanding,” she said. Xypex, for instance, produces a concrete waterproofing technology. “Sponsorship is a privilege, not a right, and it’s my responsibility to create a return for all of my partners.”
Similar to Wyman, Smith is Britain’s standard-bearer in his sport, MotoGP. According to his website, the 27-year-old was the highest-placed British finisher at 2014 MotoGP world championship in eighth place.
“[Smith’s] passion for equal opportunity in sport was clear and he provided valued security to ensure the right partnerships could be found,” Wyman added, “My clothing for 2018 will feature the #38 of Bradley and I’ll be wearing a replica of his GP helmet.”