Lynn Cycling ace Bethany Barnett was in National Championship action at Sunderland at the weekend – where she got to meet and watch the lady she would love to emulate in years to come.
On Sunday, former Lynn Cycling Club member Helen Wyman clinched the British Cycle Cyclocross championship for the tenth time.
Wyman stormed ahead from her main rival Nikki Brammier and Bethany Crumpton, but the result was very much up for grabs going into the final lap.
All three rivals had a chance of taking top spot, but Wyman displayed all of her experience and class to win by six seconds on a dry and undulating course.
A day earlier in her race, Barnett enjoyed a decent start, picking up some places by taking a wider line into the opening corner.
The field thinned out pretty quickly due to the tough nature of the course, and the youngster found herself in a group of three fighting for 16th place.
Although she fell behind a little on the open, flat straights, Barnett would catch the group up again on the run-up and the long uphill.
On the final lap of the race one of the riders got her bars stuck in the tape, and she took the opportunity to make an attack just after the long hill.
Eventually it came down to a sprint, and Barnett lost by less than half-a-wheel to finish in 17th place.
“I’ve really enjoyed the National Championships this year.
“The atmosphere was amazing and the course thrilling and it made a really good race.
“I am pretty happy with my performance. Although I spent a lot of time over Christmas training, my fitness still isn’t quite where I want it to be.
“However, I felt really confident on the technical sections of the course and I’m looking forward to the final two races of the season in Snetterton and Cambridge.
“A big thank-you to my dad and sister for helping with lines on the slippy off-cambers and a tricky downhill right-hander with lots of ruts.”
On Wyman clinching her tenth title, Bethany said: “Helen had an amazing race and won the championship in style.
“It was so cool to talk to her afterwards and have photos with her.
“She is such an inspiration to my sister Florence and myself, because knowing that she grew up in the same place as us just brings home the idea that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”
n Maciej Malyszka has just completed a British Cycling course and qualified as a level 2 Go Ride coach.
Go Ride, a subsidiary club, gives young riders coaching most weeks in Lynn.
Heather Leeming is a Breeze ride coach for both British Cycling and at Lynn where she encourages women riders to ride their bikes.
The club was founded in 1931 and is all inclusive, irrespective of age, ability or gender.
All newcomers will be made very welcome and anyone interested should contact the club.