NEXT Wyman's Amira Mellor and Kona Cycling's Helen Wyman enjoy the sunshine and warmth of early-season training. (Photo: NEXT Wyman)

NEXT Wyman’s Amira Mellor and Kona Cycling’s Helen Wyman enjoy the sunshine and warmth of early-season training. (Photo: NEXT Wyman)

I like words. They mean things.

Sometimes a word pops into your head. It lingers there. It becomes the lens through which you view an experience.

The word for this episode is: “sympatico”.

sym·pa·tico. adjective. The definition of sympatico is getting along and having mutual understanding with another. Also spelled simpatico. An example of sympatico is a policeman easily knowing how to work with his patrol partner of many years.

Listen, and see if you agree.


NEXT Wyman's Steph Wyman, Amira Mellor, Helen Wyman, and Charm City Cross Race Director Kris Auer help a Baltimore Youth Cycling rider triumph over the Charm City Cross flyover. (Credit: Carmita Vogel)

In twilight, NEXT Wyman’s Stef Wyman, Amira Mellor, Helen Wyman, and Charm City Cross Race Director Kris Auer help a Baltimore Youth Cycling rider negotiate the flyover at a NEXT Wyman / Charm City Cross junior clinic. (Photo: Carmita Vogel)


In This Episode

Credit: Ray Whitney Prisma app using "Dreams"

Kris Auer has a lot on his mind on the evening before Charm City Cross.

Helen Wyman, Amira Mellor, and Kris Auer made time to chat with us about NEXT Wyman, Charm City Cross, coming to America, the UCI Cyclocross Commission, and much more. It’s a long episode, yet the last few minutes are worth the wait. Honestly, If you have limited time, make sure you tune in to the last ten minutes. I appreciate Helen’s perspective. I think you will, too.

At the end of these notes are extensive links to online resources related to our guests, including some of the articles and podcasts that provided background research for this episode.


Special Notes

Open Doors, Open Ears

We recorded in an open room on a glorious afternoon. We were spread about with windows and doors open.


When you listen, please be aware that we captured a lot of ambient noise. That’s not a cricket…it’s a bird!

…and a lawnmower…
…and a leaf blower…
…and more birds…

So, if you’re using headphones, it’ll feel like you’re right there with us!


Rip-Roaring Note

As a long-time Liverpool FC fan, I delighted in the way Helen kept contextualizing the conversation using the Reds. In return, I promise to Easter-egg a “Come on you rip-roaring ’atters!”.


About Helen, Amira, and Kris

Helen Wyman is a cyclocross veteran with remarkable credentials.

  • She’s a nine-time British National Cyclo-cross Champion.
  • She’s a two-time European Cyclo-cross Champion.
  • She’s been on the UCI World Championship Podium.
  • She’s possesses three pavé trophies from Koppenberg.

Palmarès are one way to measure accomplishment. Wins are wonderful, yet they are temporal–limited to a particular event, a particular time.

While trophies bring smiles, even as they collect dust, influence lingers. It grows.

The most significant change in Europe was bringing about the rule where the women’s race has to precede the men’s. TV viewership increased so much that they went on to show 24 women’s races live on TV in Belgium and organizers got an additional sponsor just for the women. I have always believed that women’s cross is the untapped potential for greater investment in the sport, in general, and finally we can see it is.

Amira Mellor preparing for her start at Charm City Cross's sunny UCI C1 race. (Courtesy: NEXT Cycling)

Amira Mellor preparing for her start at Charm City Cross’s sunny UCI C1 race. (Photo: NEXT Wyman)

Helen’s influence on cyclocross extends far beyond her racing. Her work on the UCI Cyclocross Commission has significantly expanded opportunities for women. Closing the equality gap in cycling was never going to be easy.

It still isn’t easy. Yet, Helen’s influence continues to expand through her ongoing Commission mission and NEXT Wyman.

Amira Mellor is a talented young rider from Yorkshire, UK. She is NEXT Wyman’s first rider, with a two-year commitment to the program. This season she is focusing on learning from Helen and Stefan and developing as a professional (Listen for more on that!). At just 19 years of age she’ll have several opportunities to target the U-23 World Championships .

Kristopher Auer is known internationally for his sponsorship of equal payout for elite women at Koppenbergcross. He’s well-known in the Mid-Atlantic for his years as promoter of Charm City Cross, ownership (formerly) of Twenty20 Bike Shops in Baltimore and Savage, MD, and his directorship of the C3-Twenty20 Cycling Co. team.


Show Notes


0:01:30 – Being nervous, breaking ice
0:03:40 – Come on you rip-roaring ’atters!
0:04:30 – Vega$
0:07:10 – NEXT Wyman – Choosing Amira, British legacy, carving a path for the next generation
0:11:00 – British Cycling and its support (or lack thereof) for cyclocross and women
0:15:25 – European and American choices: road to cross to Kona and finding a path that made sense
0:19:40 – Charm City Cross is a teenager! Growing cyclocross, specifically within the Mid-Atlantic
0:25:20 – “What can you take from Iowa?”
0:27:00 – “It’s mega that everyone cheers for everybody”
0:29:15 – “I think he just called you ‘anonymous’”
0:30:10 – “I’ve definitely extended my career by coming to America…”
0:32:50 – Paying it back, social media savvy, female role models, and cultural differences
0:38:00 – Amira and Helen…mentorship, apprenticeship, and simpatico
0:42:55 – A responsibility to pay it forward (and everyone should have a Stef!)
0:45:45 – Equality, UCI, change, and taking steps large (Twenty20 Koppenberg) and small (Buy local!)
0:57:40 – Is the Twenty20 Koppenberg legacy being realized?
0:58:25 – U-23 Women’s World Cup…why it matters (and it matters…)
1:02:40 – Amira’s U-23 opportunities (no pressure…)
1:06:10 – Legacy
1:07:35 – What constitutes success for Helen?
1:12:20 – How does Chris define success?
1:15:00 – Amira’s turn!
1:17:40 – Learning focus, working hard, committing to dedication
1:19:35 – It’s not about the journey…it’s about seeing things along the way.


Everything Helen, Amira, and Kris!


Helen Wyman


NEXT Wyman


Amira Mellor


Kris Auer


Charm City Cross


Twenty20 Cycling


Media Referenced or Researched


Interact with DMV Cycling

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