cyclocross

The Road To The World Cups

After a satisfactory weekend last weekend in Rochester I was really motivated to put some solid training in this week. I am not a guy who likes to rest on my laurels. Racing is good and really gets the high end revved up, however, by racing, resting, and repeating weekend after weekend it is often hard to build fitness and work on specific things. So Jim Lehman, my coach, and I decided that this week and into Nittany Lion Cyclocross this weekend was going to be part of a training block. The race was only 45min from my house and my family was pumped to watch me race close to home so I had to include it.

I put two good days of intervals in on Wednesday and Thursday, some longer, over-under intervals to be exact (this is where you spend some time at threshold then some time over then back down then back up and you do this throughout the whole interval). I was feeling good, but those days were hard so I had my doubts going into the weekend.

When I showed up to the race on Saturday I discovered that I was leading the ProCX series, which really isn’t a series because it is literally every race on the calendar, but I guess it is still something. This didn’t really add any pressure to my situation, because the “series” was never part of my season goals, but oddly enough it made me want to win just that little bit more and gave me a new focus for the day. Full “series” calendar and standings found here.

After some course laps I was pretty pumped because it wasn’t going to be a dry, dusty, bumpy, crit race like it had been in years past. We had a decent amount of rain off and on all week and the sun never really came out so the ground was saturated. The amateur races earlier in the day cleared off all the grass and thus the afternoon races were left with a nice line of moist, sometimes slick, sometimes velcro, dirt/mud. 

I decided to run an aggressive tire up front (Maxxis All Terrane) after Alex Ryan got in my head, so I could really push in the corners. Then I ran a pretty mellow mid in the back (Maxxis Raze) because there was some suction like sections on the course and I didn’t want to have all the resistance a double All Terrane set up would have brought. 

I had a good start and led the whole first lap. Right at the end of the lap, there was an off camber that was at a low point in a field so it was extremely muddy. It was possible to ride but challenging and even harder when you came into it gassed or under pressure. I knew that would be a crucial spot later in the race if you were trying to shake an opponent or trying to maintain a gap. 

A group of three of us separated ourselves from the field by the end of the first lap. We all took turns on lap two then I decided to put pressure on Curits White and Matthieu Bolo (a Frenchman) in the corners. I was feeling really confident in the the turny bits and was hoping a little pressure would start to open up some cracks so that the race wouldn’t come down to a sprint. 

It worked and I gapped the two. Curtis was swinging a leg over his CX bike for the first time this season and it showed he was a little rusty. Normally, a move like what I pulled wouldn’t have worked like it did. 

 

I pulled away for a lap until Matthieu started to pull up to me. I kept making mistakes in the muddy off camber at the end of the lap. I was struggling to find the line then when I found it I was struggling to execute. Regardless, Matthieu caught me and I was pleased. I didn’t want to do the last 6 laps of the race off the front by myself.

We worked together to widen our gap and I started to pick apart his riding style. He was strong physically but I had him on the skill part. So again, with 2  laps to go, I put pressure on and a gap opened up. I kept it on through the first half of the lap and had 7 seconds. With him not being able to see my lines in the corners I exploited his weakness and expanded on my gap at the start of the last lap, then kept the pressure on to finish the race.

I was pumped on the W, especially after training hard through the week. It was great to win at home and put on a show for my family too. Sherman was pumped with his first UCI podium top step appearance too.

It was Emily’s birthday on Friday so we all went to my Aunt and Uncle’s house after the race to have cake and celebrate. A surprising number of my friends showed up to race or cheer on Emily and I so we had quite the crew over for the post-race party. It was a great ending to a good day.

I had planned all along to not race Sunday. This is the third weekend of the race season and the world cups are on the horizon. I wanted to get the Saturday effort in as a high-intensity workout without having the mental strain of gearing up for a workout. However, but doing both days on top of the training I did earlier in the week could have dug a hole I may not have been able to climb out of before next weekend’s Waterloo World Cup. 

So I opted for a nice endurance ride from my house to the race, which was awesome. I have done similar rides before, but usually around Thanksgiving time as we usually do Thanksgiving at my, aforementioned, aunt and uncle’s house. However, getting to do the ride in the sunny warm air of September rather than the frigid, crisp, often wet air of late November, was a treat. 

All back roads, farm roads, little cars on a Sunday morning. It was just what I needed after being focused for the last couple days. I listened to some good tunes and just pedaled. I rarely looked at my GPS unit for anything other than turn by turn directions, it was choice.

I got to the race in time to watch Em crush and take pictures, which I wish I could do more of. Photography is hard and watching Bruce Buckley trod around course, profusely sweating, hauling 20-30lbs of camera gear, really put that into perspective. Not to mention the difficulty in framing shots, getting from one side of the course to another, and shooting all the unique sections. Bruce said he lays out a logistics plan on paper so he can know with certainty how he can get from a to b to c and back to a. There is more to it then you think.

The focus this week is rest and then get opened up. I leave Thursday for Madison, WI. Rebecca will meet me there and then we will dominate Waterloo. Rebecca will finally be on board her new Super Jakes and thus the final pieces of the Kona- Maxxis- Shimano CX team are complete. 

All race photos Bruce Buckley @bruce_buckley

Kerry Werner Keeps Momentum Rolling with Two Podium Finishes at Rochchester

The Rochester race weekend has been the traditional season opener for many years past. This year a few racers, Becca and Kerry included, decided to start with Roanoke last weekend (last weeks blog link) but that doesn’t change the nerves as this was the first C1. Thus, Rochesert was about gritting their teeth against some stiffer competition before heading into the world cups. 

Becca and Kerry drove to Rochester the Monday after Roanoke. They spent the week at a host house in Victor, who Kerry has developed a strong relationship with over the past three years racing at Rochester. Finally getting the race rigs together, check out Kerry’s bike check video.

Wednesday the gang got out to the local  YMCA camp to get some mid-week efforts in as well as scope out some different stations for Thursday nights CX clinic.

The YMCA camp hosts a weekly cyclocross clinic in the late summer/early fall thanks to some GVCC (Genesee Valley Cycling Club) enthusiasts. Becca and Kerry both participated as coaches alongside Tobin Ortenblad and Emily Shields. It’s all about giving back especially to the young guns. It is also inspiring as Kerry notes the CX community is strong in the Rochester area, “There are a ton of 10-16-year-olds in the Rochester area that are just so damn good! These kids can hop barriers, understand how to get on and off the bike, and are always looking for a challenge when on two wheels. It left us coaches wondering how good we would be if we had been exposed to the sport when we were that young.” 

There were more than just juniors at the clinic as well, once 120 people decided to show up. Becca describes it like this, “Imagine a sea of 100 cats in a laser light show and you had to keep track of 15 specific ones. Seriously, though excited, they were focused, attentive, and really seemed to want to learn and progress.”

Becca then ran a Friday clinic at the Rochester Cyclocross venue, walking people through the different obstacles on the course and giving them tips of the trade. Covering race day prep, confidence boosting, and a few deadlifts picking up fallen participants. Sometimes you gotta risk it for the biscuit. 

Saturday is race day and Becca kicked it off first for the Kona Maxxis Shimano CX Team. She didn’t have the most ideal start and after finding herself back in the high teens she remembered she had to pedal… harder. After regaining focus she clawed her way back into 4th but burned a few matches doing so and thus started to make some small mistakes that were, in turn, big mistakes at the end of the race, slipping in dusty corners, catching fences, bending rear hangers. 

Though disappointed by having a mechanical play a roll two weekends in a row Becca realizes, “I can take some time to remind myself that these mistakes are user-error and fixable, I’m still not set up with my season’s gear, I’m still working out my own rhythms, and that it is better that these things happen now rather than later.”

Kerry went next and had his head set on the whole shot. There was a super tight off camber section less than 1min from the start and being at the front could mean saving a match to maintain the gaps. 

He got the coveted whole shot, which set him up to stay in the front group of 4. They dangled off the front until about halfway through the race when they became solidly out ahead. Then the real games began. 

Kerry describes the race like this, “Lance Haidet was yo-yoing at this point and Gage was riding well but struggling a little in the tech bits. I knew Stephen was the guy to watch yet I managed to put myself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Stephen put pressure on in the woods and Gage was gaped a bit. He was riding well though, and I figured we could bring Stephen back but after pulling through I looked back and saw Gage gapped. I couldn’t get to Stephen alone so it was three laps solo. I had just enough in the tank to hold off a rallying Tobin Ortenblad and Jack Kisseberth to hold on to 2nd.” 

Though it wasn’t a win it was definitely a good result for the first C1 of the season where UCI points are higher and so is the cash payout. 

On to Sunday, which was one classification lower. A C1 gives out UCI points 15 deep and has about 3X the payout of a C2. C2’s only give out UCI points to the top ten and because there are more of these throughout the season only a riders 8 best C2’s count towards UCI ranking. 

Becca was fired up for Sunday and it showed as she got off the line well and didn’t settle on the first lap. She rode the majority of the race in 4th and did a lot of work chasing the podium. She was more consistent throughout the race by running some sections that were touch and go in Saturday’s race. No mechanicals but sticking her nose in the wind for a good portion of the race meant a lack of fuel left in the tank towards the end of the race and she lost two spots falling back to 6.

Recollecting, Becca says, “It’s kind of funny how a bad start and a great start can lead me to the same place. You would think if I could start so far back and chase to 6th that I could start in 6th and chase to the win. But anyone who races bikes knows that is never the case. Maybe chasing so hard on Saturday burned me out for Sunday and is why I lost those 2 spots. Maybe that mental edge of wanting revenge allowed me to start well on Sunday. I am sure the two results are tied together. Clearly, I am riding at a level that is very consistent and repeatable for me, and despite what happens I am remembering skills and strengths to fight through.” 

Kerry didn’t have such good luck on the start. He pulled out of his right pedal off the line and slotted in around 10th. A few changes to the course lead to an even punchier race, which quickly dissolved into small groups. The front group was 4 again, Jeremy Power, Hyde, Hecht, and Werner. The lower category C2 meant there wasn’t as much on the line and it showed. There was no reservation in the front group as blow after blow was thrown. 

Kerry was gassed but settled into the back of the group, not where you want to be at the end of the race. Hecht clipped a pedal on the off camber with 2 to go and caused a separation that Kerry could not bring back as Powers and Hyde traded turns at the front. 

Reflecting, Kerry realizes his mistake. “Luckily, I was able to keep Gage on the back burner after his mistake. I knew I shouldn’t have been on the back but Gage was riding strong and I didn’t see him making a mistake. I was definitely feeling fatigued from Saturday’s effort but really wanted two podiums on the weekend. So it was head down and a focus on smooth rather than fast in the woods.”

The next 2 weeks will involve Kerry building up Becca’s new Kona Super Jakes with the sweet Shimano Dura Ace group sets – with those sweet Ultegra RX Di2 clutch rear derailleurs. Becca will be pushing the limits of her endurance and skills and then hitting the recovery hard leading into the world cups. 

She says, “Remember, the Trek UCI World Cup pays women equally, and that is just huge. So for this Kona woman, it would mean so much to be on top form and performing my best in order to respect everything about the cycling community and their support of me and everyone else out there chasing dreams, working hard, and pushing limits.”

Check out Kerry’s vlog for some great in race footage (Thank you Cory Kuhns!) and some behind the scenes hoverboarding, pancake making, and donut eating!

 

 

Kerry Werner Doubles Down at Cyclocross Season Opener

Something to note about CX season is that cyclocross Nationals has been moved from January to the second weekend in December (Louisville, Ky). Thus, the season has been condensed. It started this past weekend in Roanoke, VA at a community park, Fallon Park, and as you may guess it was hot.

In reality, there is a UCI race every weekend from the first weekend in September until Nationals in December with the only break in the schedule being Thanksgiving weekend. The Kona crew will not be racing all those races. That would be ludicrous. They have hand picked a bunch of racing that allows a few breaks here and there while still hitting some of the best and biggest races on the calendar. Their schedule is posted at the bottom of this post.

As you may have read, Rebecca Fahringer is joining Kerry Werner for the Kona-Maxxis-Shimano CX team this year. If you haven’t read about the update click here.

Kerry: ” With the start of CX being one week earlier then last year we were left scrambling the week before Go Cross to get things together. I had frames, Becca’s were still on a boat, I got Shimano wheels and our new Maxxis tires arrived Monday before the race. The rest of our Shimano order was running a little late and didn’t show up until Thursday before the race. Therefore, We were both stuck running last year’s frames, which is fine. The old stallions had been holding up just fine through the training sessions at my local park. So Thursday when Becca flew into NC they spent the afternoon loading the trailer with gobs of parts still in boxes and plastic.

Kerry: “We hired Alex Jerome, a mechanic from Brevard, NC to come help us out for the Roanoke weekend. I am so glad we did. He rocked it. He handled building frames and helping us with race prep. He will potentially be on board full time for the second half of the season. Becca and I both hope it works out, as he is a rad guy who fits into the team dynamic nicely, and knows his way around a bicycle.”

Becca: “We arrived in Roanoke on Friday in order to do some tire testing for Maxxis. This is my second year riding Maxxis tires, and the first time I had been asked to partake in testing. Whether or not they wanted me to help test tires or if they wanted Kerry to and I just happened to show up is beside the point. We were testing some treads set up tubeless, so I was right at home after the past two years racing on tubeless tires. It was a great experience, and something I have always wanted to do. But it was also unfortunate for the timing, because, I was so anxious about riding too much in the heat the day before my first race that I had a hard time concentrating on the task. In addition, this year I am racing Maxxis tubulars and I hadn’t ridden tubulars in over two years. But it was a good chance to do some laps on the course.

Speaking of tires, we were damn sure it was a file-tread weekend. Knowing that, I had my files mounted up for my pre-ride on Saturday. Right before I went out, the sky darkened and started dropping some precipitation. It was raining on the open 1/2/3 women’s field pretty good at this point! I still went out on my Speed Terranes just to see. Without pushing the pace too much, I slid out a few times on the slick grass. With the rain stopping and the men yet to hit the course, I was unsure if the course would get drier or churned up and muddy. I was pretty torn on what decision to make, but I decided that I would ride the All Terranes for the sake of confidence. The last thing a racer should do is doubt their tire choice during a race, and maybe holding back because of it. An option could have been to have different tires on my pit bike, but, again, my pit bike was for emergency use only in this early-season equipment purgatory.”

Kerry: “As Becca just explained it started raining and my smile started growing. Seems like a dream come true to have rain on the opening weekend of the CX season. I swapped over from Speed Terranes tires to All Terranes and headed to the line.

The nerves were certainly there. There is always an unknown at the first CX race. However, after racing these guys for a couple years you develop relationships and cope with start line stress by poking fun and exchanging careless banter. I mostly talk shit, haha.  And mostly to Tobin, because he dishes it right back.

After a lackluster start due to missing my pedal off the line, I settled into the front of the race. It took about 3 laps for 4 of us to get away from the rest of the field. The rain had caused some corners to be slick and it was causing the gaps to open slowly but surely. The four of us kept exchanging turns at the front pretty evenly. While we had dropped the group behind us they kept yo-yo’ing closer to us then further away so a steady pace was key to keep more people out of the finishing mix.

With 1.5 laps to go I got on the front. I knew I needed to be up in the front by the final stair step feature to go for the win. After the stairs the turns were just too tight and the speeds too high to make any kinds of passing. The finish straight was short enough that even a gasses effort could hold up if you were first out of the final corner.

So I kept the tempo high, I knew these guys didn’t want to do any work they didn’t have to do. Then with 1/2 lap to go, we hit the one bigger climb on course out of a dead stop u-turn and I punched it. It was a long way to send an effort but if I could keep these guys behind me they couldn’t pass in the next tight turn feature. After that, it was one more huge push up over the final climb and into the steps. I was constantly checking over my shoulder and had to do a few accelerations and block people out over the course of the effort but I hit the steps first. All was good and smooth with my remount and so I thought I was home free.

I held the dudes off over the fly over, through a few chicanes and into the final corner I felt my rear get a little loose. I preemptively unclipped but kept my foot on the pedal. Jack K. was behind me and managed a clean corner. He got that half a pedal stroke on me and came up on me to a point where his front wheel was at my bottom bracket. I panicked and dropped the last bit of gas into the piston cylinder. It was close but I came out on top!

Now, I am not sure how you all feel about this but I fell on the ground and laid there gasping for breath for a solid 60-90 sec. I could not get my heart rate back under control. I did feel a little dramatic but I honestly don’t think I could have sat up. I know falling on the ground is dramatic but I tend to reserve it for the truly extreme efforts, which turns out this was one of them. I hit a new max heart rate at 200bpm!

 

Next up was Becca!

Becca: “Front row call up, I slotted up right next to Caroline Mani, and Crystal Anthony came next to me. The rain had stopped and the temps had really dropped. We were ready. At the whistle, I pushed off and got my pedal. Not a bad start! Crystal missed her pedal and was dropped hard. Everyone kept charging forward, fighting for the daylight at the front. My racing edge was not sharp and I wasn’t sure how to fight back. I slipped back a few spots. Once we settled in I was happy to feel that the pace felt slow. I didn’t charge forward immediately, instead, I took a moment to gather myself and lower my heart rate. Then I charged. I tucked into third. Eventually, Crystal found the front end of the race and she and I battled a little. She is great at being assertive in passing – I could learn a lot from her. I was able to gap her off and I was in a steady third place, with Van Dessel riders Caroline and Sunny charging in 1st and 2nd.”

 

Kerry: “Sunday was all smiles. I was really happy to come out with the season opening win. We stopped for ice on the way to the venue so we could make ice socks by filling panty hose with ice to stuff down our jerseys and places where the sun don’t shine. It was gonna be a hot one. 90 Fº and humidity on up higher than that!

After a warm up I was feeling good and looking forward to racing the Maxxis Speed Terrane, which we didn’t get to run yesterday but is a fast, yet very confident cornering tire.

After another lackluster start I settled in around 7. 1/4 of the way through the lap I got a little tangled with a Belgian racer who came across the pond for the early season race. He slipped a pedal at the bottom of the stair steps ride up and I was coming up his inside with momentum. He saw me coming and pinched me in the corner at the top of the climb, forcing me to unclip. I said something unsavory I am sure, but it wasn’t a big deal. The next thing I know he is sprinting to get up beside me and then throws a shoulder check! I definitely did not say anything about his mom but he must have thought I did.

Before I knew it my wheels were in the air, I was on the ground, and my bike was tangled in the tape. I cussed, spit, and yelled. I grabbed my bike hoping someone saw it to DQ his ass. It was a flagrantly violent maneuver. In my opinion, the video doesn’t do the act justice. It just makes me look like I need to hit the gym harder.

I got up quickly but lost a lot of ground. I saw him in the next u-turn straight and told him he was an asshole and that he was going to be disqualified… I really had no idea if he would have been but in my mind, he should have been. That must have gotten in his head. I spent the next 1.5 laps clawing my way up through the group to the front. As I pass this guy I told him “you might as well pull out because you are f%$king DQ’d,” I think he eventually did.

After connecting with the front group I tried to save energy. I sat on for the middle of the race not showing my face at the front until 3 or 4 to go. Troy Wells was flexing at the front and split our group into 3, Tobin, Troy, and myself. From there it was 1 to go and Tobin was on the same program I was on yesterday. I sat on waiting to attack on the final climb just before the stairs. Tobin put in a big effort over the climb and shut me down though. I got back behind him and hung my head thinking I couldn’t get the win unless I put him in the tape, which isn’t really my style.

We rolled up on the bottom of the stair case, and I saw an opportunity to go around him and over him up the stairs. I hit the ground running with feet moving like the road runner, cartoon clattering noises could have easily been a sound effect coupled with a cloud of dust.

I managed to get around him, have a smooth remount and clip in and after one more effort I was home free as long as I didn’t duff it in the corners. Just like that, I was 2 for 2! Unbelievable.

I fell on the ground again… This time my excuse was it was hot AF and the race was a stressful one. I also managed to surpass yesterday heart rate max and hit 202bpm. Ouch!

Becca was next.

Becca: “Feeling very relaxed at the start, I went quick from the gun, charging up and sitting in the front three towards the middle of the lap. But this is when we hit the freshly tilled fluffy sand, and there was a bit of a pile-up. Combined with my slow-motion running, I exited the sand back in the teens placing. Not ideal. After a few turns, the pace was settled and I was waiting to make my move. With all of the riders very close and riding single file along the fast track, it took me close to the end of the second lap to finally start moving up the ranks. I went from deep within the field to the top 5 again. Then, I found myself in 2nd. Crystal was way up and I didn’t see anyone catching her, but, I could totally hang on to 2nd. I could feel myself getting goosebumps; not because I was excited, but because I felt cold. I was not ready to push my body to the limit. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that, but, I think it’s fair to say no one is capable of murdering themselves 100% of the time. Even if there was a chance I had the mental ability, I am not sure my body would have held out. I was passed and slipped into 5th and it was all I could do to maintain that. My back. My legs. My arms. Everything was feeling it.

I felt the same about my race on Sunday as Saturday – disappointed but also a bit optimistic. I had what it took to get from deep within the field up to 2nd, but not the staying power quite yet. Plus, I was sliding across the dusty ground on my Maxxis Speed Terranes, which is exactly what they are made to do – limit the friction for faster rolling and have the side knobs catch you when the time comes. I rarely enter turns fast enough to get a slide going, but I did it and was comfortable with it-a good omen for things to come.

Despite this not being my strongest placing for an opening weekend, it is the first time I have been able to identify weaknesses and come up with a plan of action to strengthen them, or, in the event of fitness, already understood the potential lack of world domination.

After the race on Sunday, we packed up the camps, and rolled out of town – the whole shebang like a circus caravan rolling up the tents to go to the next sleepy little town. In this case, Rochester, NY.”

To catch all the behind the scenes debauchery check out Kerry’s  Vlog recap of the weekend…

 

 

Cross is Coming Part 4: We Like to Party!

Cross is still on its way… and that means one thing for sure. PARTY TIME. While some folks race the old CX for fitness and prestige, others get after it for the party. Back in 2015 Spencer Paxson put his fitness to the test as he donned his red undies (aka party pants), ripped around on his Private Jake and went the distance for one of the rowdier Single Speed Cyclocross World Champ races.

 

Cross is Coming Part 2: Cross/Roads with Kerry Werner

Cross is coming! We’re featuring some of our favorite cyclocross videos this week to get ready for the upcoming season! For part two we’ve chosen the Cross/Roads video with Adventure Team rider and Cyclocross powerhouse Kerry Werner. Kerry rides the 2018 Major Jake. Follow along as Kerry navigates some incredibly beautiful terrain around Penticton, BC.

Announcing the 2018 Kona Roster!

AGGY, FEARON, VERNER, WALLACE, WERNER HEADLINE KONA'S 2018 ROSTER

Spring is just around the corner, and that can only mean one thing: bike season is near! We’re excited to kick things off by announcing our 2018 roster, which is chock full of speed, talent, and creativity, ensuring an exciting and memorable season.

KONA GRAVITY TEAM 2018

On the gravity side Connor Fearon will be flying the Kona colors at the 2018 downhill World Cup races, set to kick off in Croatia in April. Connor will be running the Operator as he attempts to climb atop the podium throughout the season’s seven races. Also returning is legendary Kona athlete
Graham Agassiz. Whoever said, “freeride is dead,” clearly never rubbed elbows with Aggy and friends. Aggy’s goals for 2018 are to continue to push the limits of what’s possible on a bike, ride as many wild lines as possible, and create some interesting content.

The gravity team is rounded out by North Shore standout Caleb Holonko, and downhillers
Josh Button of Australia, and Anthony Poulson from Quebec.

KONA GLOBAL ENDURO TEAM 2018

New for 2018 is the Kona Global Enduro Team. The Global Enduro Team will compete in races throughout the world, including the EWS. Squamish ripper Rhys Verner, who saw strong results in 2017 will be leading the EWS charge alongside Ireland’s multi-national champion Leah Maunsell. Verner and Maunsell are joined by Swede Alexander Kangas and Americans Ryan Gardner and Scott Countryman.

KONA ENDURANCE TEAM 2018

Keeping the spirit of fun alive is the major goal of Kona’s Endurance and Adventure Team. Personality and talent run deep with this crew, and a good time is never far away. With 24 Hour Solo World Champion Cory Wallace in the mix, big races, and bigger challenges are sure to unfold. Finishing in 3rd place at US cyclocross nationals, Kerry Werner is back and ready to challenge for the top step of the podium. Americans Barry Wicks and Spencer Paxson are always up for whatever shenanigans they can concoct on their bikes and will be joined on big adventure days by Sechelt’s Kris Sneddon.

The 2018 Kona team covers a massive spectrum of riding talent and abilities and we’re looking forward to seeing what’s in store! Be sure to check out our team page on Konaworld.com for more info on each rider, and tune into the Cog throughout the season for updates on race results, expeditions, and adventure logs.

Kerry Werner’s Road to Bronze

Kona cyclocross racer Kerry Werner had a stellar cross season finishing 28th at the World Championships last weekend in the Netherlands. Prior to that race, he landed on the podium in third place at US Cyclocross National Championships in Reno, Nevada. BikeFlights.com put together an incredible video of Kerry’s prep for his bid at US Nationals. If you’re a fan of storytelling and getting to know the athletes, this is a great watch.

Cyclocross World Championships: Valkenburg, NL

After a very successful 2016-2017 cyclocross season Kerry Werner has raised the bar again this season stacking up 6 UCI wins, locking in his best UCI world ranking (25), and a handful more podiums including his 3rd place at the 2018 Cyclocross National Championships. This culmination of results has no doubt lead to his nomination to the USA Cycling World Champs team for this Sunday’s race in Valkenburg, Netherlands (located in the Limburg providence).

If you missed out on cyclocross nationals a few weekends back in Reno, NV you can catch the race reply here.

 

Or you can watch a condensed version… Kerry spent a few weeks in December and through nationals collaborating with Bikeflights.com, a sponsor providing great shipping rates for bikes, on a video and story to be released solely to increase the hype for World Champs. We think it did just that!

Kerry got on the Worlds course yesterday and had some things to say about it.

“The course is heavy and is going to require a lot of mental strength in addition to physical fitness. It’s fitting that this course will be the hardest course I have ridden all year, I mean it is World Champs. The ruts are already getting derailleur cage deep after only 2hrs of pre-ride. More rain is in the forecast before Sunday not to mention a few races and more pre-ride time. The biggest challenge is going to be trying to hold yourself together when you’re pinned and bleeding out of your eyes. You couple that with the difficulty of trying to nail a rut/ any line 2 feet off of someones rear wheel and you get a race where you have to be aware all the time not just on how hard you are going and how you’re body feels but also how to react when someone in front of you messes up or what lines to take next lap because the old ones are no good anymore.”

The course preview video below should put Kerry’s words into context.

The junior men, U23 women, and Elite women race Saturday. The u23 men and Elite men go off Sunday.

 

The schedule and live streams can be found here (if you have the NBC gold access, otherwise look into VPN browsing options to get around geo cached feeds).

Don’t forget to send Kerry and the whole USAC crew all the good vibes this weekend!