We all put our hands in the air to celebrate success for Nikki Harris over the weekend as the 29-year-old from Derbyshire won her first World Cup event after disappointment last month.
The win now puts Harris into third place in the overall standings, despite missing one of the four events so far – with a further three opportunities ahead of her.
Harris took a convincing win, with time to look behind as she rounded the final bend of the course in Namur. The win comes soon after a second place at Kocksidje last month, where she suffered a puncture on lap two which pushed her back through the field.
The Derbyshire rider was clearly intent on remedying the disappointment – and with three laps to go at the race on Sunday she had a 20 second lead ahead of the competition.
Five women did attempt to chase her, to no avail – though France’s Caroline Mani did break from the group and get closer to the Brit, eventually coming second. Eva Lechner (Italy) completed the podium, also taking the overall lead as World and European champion Sanne Cant came in fourteenth as she struggles with a rib injury.
Nine time British Champion, Helen Wyman, had a less successful outing – tangling with the barriers and losing time early on. A bike change meant she had to chase hard, but still obtained eight place despite the hindrance.
The win was a first for Harris and clearly a major career goal – she told British Cycling: “I can’t quite believe it myself. I’ve literally dreamed of winning a world cup for so long. I’ve wanted to win a race the whole season and I’ve kept trying and kept trying and today I just took the lead and I just felt good. I could just keep going on my own lines.
“It was so hard. Every lap I was just counting it down and it was like, one more lap, one more lap and I just knew if I could keep pushing and keep my own pace then I could take the win. I can’t believe it – I’m so happy.”
GB put in three more riders – Hannah Payton who was 25th, Beth Crumpton took 34th and Amira Mellor 40th.