The British National Cyclocross Championship saw a major shake up of the title holders this weekend as Nikki Harris rode to first place in the women’s race and Liam Killeen took the men’s title.
Both victors took their titles from multiple British Champions: nine time winner Helen Wyman and four time winner Ian Field.
Overnight rain meant the course in Shrewsbury was characterised by incredibly muddy conditions which presented a serious challenge for riders.
Competing in the kit of her new team – Boels Dolmans CT, Harris clawed back the lead Wyman set up in the first lap throughout the 40 minute race, making up most of the time in the final two laps.
The 29-year-old, who took her first World Cup win last month, took the lead as the bell signaled the last lap, and the two rode neck and neck for much of the final stretch.
The last section saw two mechanicals – first Harris’ chain came off, giving Wyman five seconds on her, but then Wyman found her own drivechain jammed, causing her to plummet into a hedge and allowing Harris to take the win.
Harris was ecstatic, and thanked all of her supporters, saying: “Motto of today Never give in….Thanks to everyone for the support today, fun course and we had plenty of mud!”
Wyman was of course disappointed, stating on Twitter: “Gutted is probably the biggest understatement of the century! Guess I’ll just have to win worlds now instead!”
Killeen was neck and neck with Field until 20 minutes left of racing, where he moved ahead and built up a more gradual lead.