Wyman excited for start of second Women’s Tour

Helen Wyman

Helen Wyman - Credit: Archant

St Albans pro cyclist Helen Wyman is expecting another exciting edition of the Aviva Women’s Tour, which gets underway today in Bury St Edmunds.

Cyclist Helen Wyman

Cyclist Helen Wyman - Credit: Archant

Wyman is part of the Matrix Pro Cycling team for the second year running.

“It’s going to be mega,” she said. “This year they put in really hilly stages, which will be exciting, and longer stages. It’ll be harder but it will make for great racing.

“There are also a lot of big teams and big riders so it should be exciting.”

Perhaps the biggest name is in the same team as Wyman: Olympic gold medallist Laura Trott.

“Laura Trott is incredibly good and Lucy Martin is too. I’ll have quite a lot of jobs to do, I imagine. If I’m asked to attack then you could see some exciting racing from me, but if I’m asked to lead off then I’ll do that,” she said.

The Tour doesn’t pass through St Albans but fans won’t have to travel far to enjoy the race as stage four ends in Stevenage Old Town and the finish line for stage five is in Hemel Hempstead.

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The maiden tour in 2014 was hailed a fantastic success, and Wyman is hoping for the same carnival atmosphere this time around.

“I’m most looking forward to all the people coming out. Last year it made for something special; there were 1,000s of people at every stage,” she said.

“Every town we went through made it so special.”

She added: “It’s such an interesting event; people don’t just see riders pass, they get to see the convoy, the road closures, the events that happen at the start and finish lines, and see the riders up close and personal, talk to them, take photos with them. It’s more like a carnival than a sporting event.

“A lot of people don’t care whether it’s men or women racing; it’s exciting and something they don’t get to see very often.”

Wyman is delighted to be back on the Tour but admitted it is a means to an end with the Cyclo-cross World Cup on the horizon.

The two-time European and nine-time British champion heads over to round one in Las Vegas in September before flying to Montreal three days later for the next stage.

“The Tour is good training for my endurance, which you can’t recreate in training,” she explained.

“Cyclo-cross races only last 45 minutes but it’s the most intense 45 minutes of your life. That’s my passion and where my heart is.

I used to be good at road racing but now it’s a means to an end. That’s not to say I don’t care. I’m competitive enough that I want to do well in any race I’m in.”