Zypex – Verge Sport // 10X British National Champion
DISCIPLINE: Cyclocross, Road, Gravel
HOMEBASE: Oudenaarde, Belgium
Born in St Albans in 1981, Helen grew up in a cycling family and began racing aged 14. Trying all forms of cycling, Helen found her love of cyclocross aged 18, when the cross season fitted conveniently around her university studies in physiotherapy. Rapidly finding success and international opportunities, she took up the sport full-time aged 23, having raced part time whilst working for the NHS following her graduation. Ten national championship and two European Championship wins were capped with a World Championship Bronze medal in 2014. Now residing between Rennes-les-Bains (France) and Oudenaarde (Belgium), Helen has dedicated the past 14 years of her life to cyclocross, which have included four years as an active member of the UCI Cyclocross Commission where she has made significant progress for the sport towards equality for female riders. For Helen, these changes are as important an achievement as her on the bike results.
YEARS ON STAGES: 4
MOST EFFECTIVE POWER WORKOUT: Ten Hills ride (A route close to my home, with structured work on each climb). 20/40 Intervals (A staple of top end blocks of training)
WHAT’S ON HELEN’S CYCLOCROMPUTER SCREEN: “I run 2 main screens: 1 – Time, Distance, Ride Time, Current Power, Heart Rate, Speed. 2 – Set for intervals – Lap Time, Power, Average lap power, heart rate, cadence.
FAVORITE STAGES MOMENT: “I started using Stages with a Left side crank. I loved the accuracy and ability to move between bikes with minimal fuss. It also is very durable and stands up the stress and conditions of CX Racing.”EXPLORE STAGES LR for DURA-ACE M9100
10X British cyclocross Champion
2X European cyclocross Champion
4X winner Koppenberg Cross
WHY HELEN TRAINS WITH STAGES:
EFFECTIVE OFF-SEASON ACTIVITIES: My off season is very structured, from a couple of weeks with no bike (but still with Gym, Running, Core), to Base, then onto S&C. I’m lucky to live in an amazing area in southern France, where every ride is beautiful and usually in sunshine. The area is great for Strength and Conditioning rides as the hills in terms of length and gradient and perfect.
FAVORITE TRAINING TUNES: This changes every year. I like to keep it mixed up, so each summer I plan a new playlist. I have about a 25 minute session just before a race and it’s important to get things right.
BEST THING ABOUT ABOUT BEING A PRO CYCLOCROSS RACER: When I get to train in my favourite locations. I have 2 big favourites, Rennes-Les-Bains in France, an area I love so much, I’ve recently brought a house there to start a start a training centre. Second is the Alps. I normally base myself in Les Deuz Alps, and it blows my mind how beautiful it is.
LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT BEING A PRO: This has to be cleaning my bike, lucky for me I married someone who now does it for me. I’m all for equality, but when I’m exhausted after training, it’s something I’m willing to pass on.
WARM-UP ROUTINE: I warm up for cyclocross on a turbo trainer, and I have a specific play list for that of around 10 songs, depending on the length of them. It changes and evolves over time, but is there to pump me up and also chill me out.
THE FOOD YOU COULD EAT EXCLUSIVELY FOREVER: It would involve lots of vegetables. I’m known as a one women vegetable campaigner, but I just love to eat lots of local grown produce. So my meal would be something local, fresh, and perhaps have a sprinkling of cheddar cheese and quality meat.
MASCOTS: I have 2….Harry and Ratty. They come everywhere with me. Harry’s a cat, Ratty believe it or not is a rat. They’re don’t mind if I win or loose, they just want a cuddle.
SPIRIT ANIMAL: Cat – They are full gas, then eat, then sleep. In that order.