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'I just didn’t want to be there any more’ - Helen Wyman announces retirement from cyclocross

Jack Elton-Walters
18 Feb 2019

Ahead of the announcement of her retirement via an open letter, Helen Wyman chatted to Cyclist about the decision. Photo: Chris Auld

Helen Wyman has announced her retirement from professional cycling and will call time on her career at the end of the current cyclocross season. The 10-time British Cyclocross National Champion released an open letter today to break the news.

Speaking before this year's Nationals, Wyman had already mentioned the plan to retire after this year's World Championships to Cyclist and chatted again about the decision shortly before the official announcement.

'You watch people retire and you watch them stay on a year too long and that rider is then remembered as "oh, they were good once" and that is not at all how I want to be,' Wyman explained when asked about the timing of the decision.

However, the realisation that now specifically was the right time to finish dawned on her during a race earlier in the season.

'I was at Namen World Cup,' Wyman recalls. 'I was racing, I got a great start and the conditions were great for me as it was one of the first mud races of the year.

'I was in about 10th until a crash on one of the off-cambers, then I was in about 20th. These people were passing me and I realised that I just didn’t want to be there any more.

'Not because I didn’t enjoy racing – I love racing. But the courses have been different and when you’re not winning it’s hard to motivate yourself.

'I just realised at that point that never in my career have I given up the fight in a race and I gave it up in a World Cup, then I thought "Yeah, this is probably the right time".'

The soon-to-be-retired rider's immediate future looks set thanks to a coaching role within her Experza team, and it's that role that has had some bearing on how she wants to be viewed by upcoming riders.

'While I'm still good and still respected I want to be able to get the young riders to listen to me,' she explains. 'I want them to know that I can still challenge them in pre-ride, that I can still challenge them in training and I want to be able to push them on and off the bike.'