Cycling Weekly is counting down the top 30 British Riders of the Year thoughout December. The top 10 will be revealed in the December 19 issue of Cycling Weekly magazine.
NUMBER 11: NIKKI HARRIS
The national cyclo-cross champion Nikki Harris has enjoyed a purple patch of form as autumn has paved the way for winter.
Having ended Helen Wyman’s seven-year streak of national titles at the start of the year – after placing third overall in the 2012/13 cyclo-cross World Cup – Harris appears to have stepped up a level this season.
The 26-year-old finished third in the opening round of the World Cup at Valkenberg behind Marianne Vos and Katie Compton.
She followed that with second place in the next World Cup at Tabor in the Czech Republic.
A string of podium positions followed – second to Wyman at the Ruddervoorde Superprestige and European Championships in Mlada Boleslav, third to Wyman at the prestigious Koppenberg event, third again at the Gavere Superprestige and, most recently, third behind Compton and Sanne Cant in the Koksijde World Cup.
In among all those results came her biggest win to date – victory in the Belgian mud at the Hamme-Zogge Superprestige.
That marked a breakthrough of sorts, but the race is on now to see whether Harris or Wyman will be the first to win a round of the World Cup or a medal at the World Championships.
Having two top riders from Britain spurring each other on adds an extra dimension to the racing and the number of times both Harris and Wyman have been on the podium this season suggests they might land one before this current season is out.
British Riders of the Year 2013: Related links