cyclocross

Video: Life as a Pro Cycling Mechanic

Kona Pro Cyclocross racer Kerry Werner is a force to be reckoned with, but his accomplishments between the tape don’t come without support. Enter Doug Sumi, Kerry’s mechanic on the road. And, at many of the US ProCX stops, Ricoh Riott. Ricoh and Doug teamed up to create this video from a veteran mechanic’s perspective on wrenching on the road.

Keep up with Ricoh Riott Photography on his website, and on Facebook and Instagram.

Three Bikes in One: Pedal Bicycles on the Kona Major Jake

We’ve always known that our Jake series of cyclocross bikes is highly versatile. Something about confidence-inspiring geometry and room for higher volume tires makes for a bike that naturally gets put to use outside the tape of the ‘cross course. For many years, riders have chosen the Jake for club rides, winter training, everyday commuting, around-town, and of course, gravel (before it was even called that).

With a simple swap of the tires, Tim Krone from Pedal Bicycles in Kalamazoo, Michigan shows off the Jake’s versatility perfectly. From the high volume and grip of the WTB Nano 40c to the cushy 30mm Roubaix slicks to the 33mm Clement MXP ‘cross tire, the multiple faces of Tim’s Jake only prove what we knew all along. Some might say that our Rove series is more suited to broader purposes, but we won’t argue with people who just want to use their bike to its fullest. Here are Tim’s thoughts on his Jake: 

I was talking to my Kona guy yesterday (yes, it does make me feel special to have a Kona guy) and somehow got to bemoaning the way the bike industry feels like it has to slice everything super-fine so there are a million different products and no one knows what the hell they’re talking about or how to differentiate them. I was specifically complaining about adventure vs. gravel vs. cyclocross bikes. “Cripe!” says me. “It’s nothing you can’t fix with some tires, and my Jake will take all sorts of tires.”

That’s how we started talking about Carbon Drop Bar Bikes in which you could (and might!) have a bike upon which you could mount slicks and get out there for the Wednesday Night Ride or something knobbier for CX racing or something burlier still if you just want to get out there and take what nature serves up.

This afternoon I figured I’d demonstrate this premise on equipment that I own. First, here’s Jake with the setup I used all last summer: WTB Nano 40s set up tubeless. Pros: bring-it-on width and tread pattern + smooth ride with low pressure. Cons: pretty heavy even when tubeless, so acceleration is less than thrilling.

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Next up: road ride. Same bike and wheels with some 30mm Specialized Roubaix tires. This is terrific setup if you’re gonna use your cross bike for road riding in the summer. Tons of grip, smooth ride and only a bit heavier than the race tires you’ve been using on your road bike.

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When CX season rolls around, Bang! 33mm cross tires. I found these Clement MXPs tucked away somewhere and was instantly reminded of the fun times I had racing on them in years past.

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The above pics highlight why Jake is probably my favorite drop bar bike of all time. It’s a very versatile bike, and gobs of tire clearance is one of the things that contributes to the versatility. Another thing is the way it’s built, with a comfortable ride. I’ve ridden cross bikes that were so stiff that they crossed the line into the kingdom of Harsh. While those were pretty darn good cross bikes, they weren’t something that I’d get all fired up about riding all day on skinny tires pumped up to big psi.

Last thing on this subject, Jake has good geometry. Due to their need to provide clearance for pretty big tires and mud, cross forks are “taller” than road bike forks, so the bars on cross bikes tend to be higher relative to the bottom bracket than road race bikes. In fact, they get pretty close to the endurance road geometry that’s so popular these days.

Does this mean that I advocate against “pure” road bikes. Absolutely not. I have a road bike in my garage that I enjoy enormously. What I am suggesting is that, with ample tire clearance and disc brakes, the idea of “one bike” is perhaps more attainable with less compromise. I’m also suggesting that it’s not a bad idea to look beyond the way a bike is spec’d on the floor, and think about what might actually work, tire-wise.

While I’ve gone on about my carbon Jake, the argument works just a well for aluminum bikes. Further, I think plus size mountain bike tires and bikes are doing the exact same thing for the “one bike” crowd who desire something with a flat bar and single-track capacity.

Throw Back to Tokyo with Kerry Werner

Words and photos by Kerry Werner.

It all started when I decided it wasn’t a good idea to do the China CX races at the beginning of the season. I started thinking, “What else can I do?” and then it hit me… I remembered Timmy J., Jeremy, and Zac McDonald all had done the CX Tokyo!

I had recently, even before thinking about CX Tokyo, grown a keen interest in Japanese culture, food, and the city lights. It blows my mind how their traditional views within society can keep 40 million people in line. You would think that crime would run rampant in the streets, it would be dirty and littered, and people would be jerks. Everything was quite the opposite.

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People were nice, even though I was a little shocked to learn that many people spoke little English. I guess I am too use to the melting pot of Europe where everyone speaks 3-6 languages. Apparently, the Japanese study English in school but then never have an opportunity to use it so they lose it (if you don’t use it you lose it).

The city was eye popping and with so many tall buildings! The only way to build as a contractor is up. The streets were clean and respect for the space of others was apparent everywhere I went.

I was most excited about the food scene. I had been watching “Mind of a Chef” on Netflix and David Cheng was really getting me excited for some ramen. I had tried to make it myself and I thought it was ok, however, my ignorance was immediately realized upon digging into my first bowl of tsukemen.

So after the post World Championship races Doug and I flew through Istanbul and then into Narita, 30miles west of Tokyo. The next morning we met up with Ryoji Aybeki, the CX Tokyo promoter. He was privy to my quest for the best bowl of ramen consequently we stopped for lunch on the way into Tokyo. In hindsight this was a blessing because when you walk into a ramen shop there is a vending machine type thing that you pick your ramen on, you pay, it prints your ticket, you hand it to the waiter and then wait for a steamy bowl of love.

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The problem was that all the text on the machine was in Japanese and completely indecipherable to Doug or I. We tried to shoot from the hip later in the trip and it wasn’t a complete failure, we still got great ramen, but Doug ordered the biggest bowl on the menu by accident and didn’t eat until the next day at dinner.

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Doug and I spent the first two days in the Tiato-Ku district, NW of Downtown, in Hotel Kurame. We walked everywhere, which may not have been great for the race but I have no regrets! We checked out historic Asakusa and the Skytree.

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And from 350 meters up…

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We had ramen all over and great coffee at “Bridge” recommended by my good friend Hans. We loitered in shop windows, picked up authentic handmade Japanese knives, bought souvenir chopsticks, frequented multi level malls, ate mochi on the road, and tried to blend in. We should have bought some medical masks to do this, maybe next time.

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We wandered through temple grounds…

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And were inspired by the intricate bike parking garages.

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Pre-ride was Saturday. The course was all sand, which didn’t make me particularly excited. There was no need to do openers, simply riding the course was hard enough.

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Doug and I spent all nights riding the train to somewhere new and checking out new districts. The night before the race was no different. We headed to Shibuya to check out the hustle and bustle. If I sat in the hotel room with my feet up, while in Tokyo, I would be looking back on the trip with regret.

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We raced Sunday afternoon, which was nothing special for me. I felt as though I had the fitness just not the finesse. The sand was raping me. Aerobically, I wanted and felt as though I could pedal harder but, technically, my constantly shifting body weight was hindering any power output. I finished 6… I wanted that podium, but instead I pulled out my notepad (literally I pulled up the “Notes” app on my phone and wrote“sand practice”) next year will be better. Notice I had to cut the sleeves off my long sleeve jersey. Sun’s out guns out in February.

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Big thanks to the Shimano boys for letting us take up room in their tent and all their help.

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Doug and I headed back to the hotel, packed bikes, and hit the town. We were going to check out the Imperial Gardens, but were stopped by a guard. I think they close at dark. We had some Gyoza, dumplings, and sake. Then to soak up the nights festivities we had Yakatori in the bowels of the subway station and it was marvelous.

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Monday we embarked on a sobering Journey to find “The Great Buddha”. This entailed a short 5k trail from Kita-Kamakura station to Hase Station. We saw Mount Fuji on the way, which was epic.

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We found it!

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We even checked out the beach then trained it back to the hotel.

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Tuesday we woke early to walk 3 miles to the Tsujiki fish market.

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We were greeted with fishermen who looked annoyed to see tourists wandering around their domain but who cares.

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We plopped down for sushi in the markets next to the auction area and enjoyed. The raw fish had a texture I had never experienced before. It melted in my mouth and the flavor was enhanced that much more as I was watching the Sushi master hand craft my sashimi no more than 3 feet away.

A ball of mochi for the walk back and that was all she wrote. Doug and I grabbed our bags and trained it to the airport.

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I can’t thank Ryoji and CX Tokyo enough for the experience. I don’t think I have a regret or a bad thought about my experience in the city, interacting with the people, or the culture. Though, the jet lag was brutal!

Follow Kerry on his blog and on Instagram.

Helen Wyman Goes 2nd at UCI C1 CX in Hoogstraten, Belgium

Kona’s Helen Wyman Claims Podium Result in Belgium

Words by Helen Wyman, photos by Marcel Hilger and Kristof Bruers.

It’s hard to believe that’s it’s February and I’m only just getting into my first weekend of races in Belgium; it was great to be back however. Saturday we raced in Lille, which is full of sand and if I’m honest I don’t really like sand. So I was thrilled the weekend was a doubleheader and I got to race in the mud of Hoogstraten on Sunday.

Helen - Hoogstraten - Credit Kristof Bruers

My “incident” in October has set me back in the World Ranking, so the start of the race is a new challenge for me now, coming through traffic, albeit world class traffic. Ellen van Loy got her trademark rocket fast start making it all the harder to get back in contention, but after a couple of laps I was moving through and picking up spots. I got on the back of the Katie Compton Express, direction finish line, held on for grim death, then we started to see the next riders.

Highlights Video: 

Passing the greatest rider ever, Marianne Vos, kind of gives you wings. Then I passed the World Champion, Sanne Cant, and the podium was on. I had young gun Maud Kaptheijns chasing me down, but I wanted 3rd. I wanted to finish the season with something to remember aside from disaster. With only 300 metres to go, Maud passed me, but I immediately passed back, and we saw Ellen on the final running section. That was it, I went into Usain Bolt mode, and pushed my tired legs to catch Ellen and pass her for second on the line.

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I’m not back to where I could have been, but I’m certainly further forward than predicted. I’m back racing wheel for wheel with the worlds best. I can now look forward to next season with excitement and anticipation.

Result

1 – Sophie de Boer
2 – Helen Wyman
3 – Ellen van Loy
4 – Sanne Cant
5 – Maud Kaptheijns
27 – Amira Mellor

Event – Superprestige Hoogstraten 5 February 2017

Keep up with Helen on Twitter and Instagram.

Bicycling Magazine Reviews the Kona Private Jake: “More than a cyclocross bike…”

Bicycling Magazine has just published their review of our versatile and capable Private Jake. Just as we hoped it would, the Private Jake’s character as more than just a ‘cross bike shone through, and reviewer Hannah Weinberger found herself well beyond the race course with the bike.

“At $1,999, with the given spec, the Kona Private Jake is a decidedly affordable bike — especially if you aren’t planning to buy other bikes to supplement it. It’s capable and confidence-inspiring in techy terrain, and incredibly dependable between the course tape.”

“The Private Jake makes easy work of mountain bike trails, road rides, gravel paths, commutes, and (naturally) ‘cross courses. It took pushing the bike to the edge of what it can reasonably be expected to tackle to even see it flinch.”

Read the full review at Bicycling.

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Amira Mellor Looks Back on the 2017 Cyclocross World Champs

Amira Mellor on World Cup Hoogerheide and the 2017 World Champs in Luxembourg

The final round of the UCI World Cup Hoogerheide, Holland, one week before the World Championships in Bieles, Luxembourg. The traditional event ran on a very similar course, including the huge stairway before the finish. One difference this year though was the freezing conditions that made for treacherous conditions, which were changing every lap.

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Being the last race before the World Championships, there was a huge entry of 74 riders, made up of both elite and U23 riders. With Amira being gridded on the 7th row, the start was guaranteed to be hectic, but a solid first half lap put her into 30th pace. Progress in the group continued until a mid race crash took her back a few groups. After the race, Amira looked back to see the bright side:

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“I’m pleased with my form and condition, but not totally with the result on paper. I knew I was a capable of a better position without the crash. When I look back at the race and see how many riders had crashes, the most important thing is that I’m in one piece headed into the Worlds this coming weekend.  Despite the crash I was 13th u23 rider, which gives me a huge amount of confidence a much bigger result could be on the cards in Luxembourg.” – Amira Mellor

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Moving on to the World Champs in Luxembourg was a big unknown with a new course and weather that put Amira into an icy race. Despite a good start, and a solid couple of laps where progress through the field was made, a series of slips and minor crashes in the last two laps took Amira back from 17th to 31st.

“I can’t take any satisfaction out the result today, it’s literally just a case of putting it in a box, and moving forward. I know I had better form than that, but the course got the better of me. It’s something I’m determined will never happen again, and I’m going to work harder than ever to ensure next year, I’m not only back at the World Champs, but delivering a result I know I’m capable of.” – Amira Mellor

Keep up with Amira and Team NEXT Wyman on Instagram.

CX Worlds are Finished But Kerry Werner is Not!

Wednesday we drove as a team from Sittard, NL to Bieles Luxembourg, 2.5 hours through the snow covered Ardennes. It was pretty and rad, pretty rad.

Thursday was course preview day. And it was epic. Lots of snow and ice on course, very much so like Hartford was for US Nationals. It made for a very tense pre ride and the idea, at least for me, was to just get a feel for the layout. By the time Sunday came around for my race the course was going to be drastically different.

Pre-race interview with Cyclocross Magazine:

Kermy Shields flew in on Tuesday from NC and got an Airbnb just 15min bus ride from the course. To escape the “hotel life” and hang out with Kerm I hopped on a bus with him after pre ride and hung out with him in Alzette, Lux. I made some curry, which is the first time I had cooked in way too long, had a beer, and was able to lounge about in a house not a hotel room, avoiding my hotel room claustrophobia and constricting nature of things, like Tobin farting and Stephen stealing my bed to come watch TV or youtube videos.

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Friday morning Kerm and I checked out the Square, had a cappuccino, then headed to the course so I could get on the rollers for a spin. Spacing things out throughout the day is crucial when spending an extended amount of time in a hotel. Therefore, morning lounging usually takes up 3hrs minimum and riding later in the day helps stave off afternoon boredom. This allocates time spent Netflix browsing and reading to just before bed instead of all afternoon and all evening.

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Saturday was race day for Juniors, u23 women, and elite women. We watched all the action from our rooms before heading to the course for a final pre ride and openers. At this point snow was melting but there was still ice and hard frozen ground on the majority of the course. This led to an incredible women’s finish, the most exciting of the weekend by far!

The day came and I was really excited to get after it. I felt terrible for Curtis White. He was feeling a flu at the beginning of the week and opt’ed to not start on Sunday. I would have done the same. To go out on the world stage not feeling 100% would have been a big shock and a huge kick in the nuts to anyone’s mental game. There is no need to end a great season on an extremely low note.

Saturday and Sunday produced some rain, which had the course super muddy. Mostly soupy mud but some sections were thickening up. I goofed and left my music at the hotel so I had to warm up on the trainer to Doug’s jams, which was hard AF 90’s hip hop. I am not sure if you are familiar with “Killer Mike” but I now am.

Called up 26, and I was ready for the light to turn green. I had a good start, coming through the line in the mid 20’s. The first lap was good but then guys started coming by me and I could do nothing about it. Those damn Euros start so hard and never slow down. I wasn’t feeling super snappy, which was unfortunate because there was no hiding out there, especially when the leaders were turning faster and faster laps. Not sure if I could have taken my KTM around the course as fast as they were pedaling it.

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Powers came by me with 3 to go and I jumped on his wheel. He carried us out of the group I was with and we ended up getting pulled 2 laps down… This was a big disappointment. Getting pulled is never a good feeling especially at a race like worlds but, like I said before, Van der Poel and Wout were just going nuts! Only 29 people finished on the lead lap.

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Looking back on the race I had a few small victories. One being the fact that I only flatted once and it was a slow leak so I was able to lose little to no time, two being I never crashed and felt good on the technical sections, three being I learned a ton! These last couple weekends have been eye opening. They have really showed me some things I need to work on for next year, and I am excited about it.

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A gigantic thanks to USA Cycling for the support. The mechanics did a great job among the chaos of dealing with 2 bikes for 31 riders, handling all the flats, and ever changing weather conditions. The hotel was great and logistics were never a concern.

Playlist of post-race interviews:

Now that worlds is done there is a little weight taken off my shoulders, weight that I have been putting on myself. I wanted to have a great worlds and I may not have done that but I am satisfied and content. This is probably the first time I am nearing the end of the season and I am not looking forward to taking a break.

Stephen, Kaitie A., and I have stayed in Sittard while the rest of the crew went home. Joe Devra and Doug are here and we are heading to Maldegem tomorrow, Lille on Saturday, and Hoogstraten on Sunday. Then Doug and I fly to Tokyo on Monday to race on Sunday. There are still 4 races left in my season and I can’t wait to race them.

Keep up with Kerry’s remaining time in Europe and his trip to Japan on Instagram.

World Cup Racing from the Mechanic’s Perspective – Kerry Werner

Kona Endurance Team rider Kerry Werner’s been in Europe for the past couple of weeks preparing for this weekend’s CX World Championships in Luxembourg. His last update before the big race includes an interview with his mechanic, Doug Sumi.

Instead of boring you with a race report I’m writing to show you how a World Cup CX looks from a mechanic’s perspective. However, because I am too egotistical not to touch upon my race, I got 32nd. Plus, I want to share some sick pics Meg snapped.

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My ribs were not – and are still not – 100% from crashing in Italy. Therefore, I was going into this race timid. Not timid to the point where I wouldn’t go hard but rather unsure how it would go. Training this past week was helping my skepticism to hang around. Wrenching hard on the bars when givin’er up hill or off the start line was causing me to wince. I was sure that the adrenaline would numb the pain but, I am sure, the two ibuprofen and the Redbull I shot gunned before the race helped too.

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This proved to be true for the first 3/4 of the race, however, the last 3 laps started to hurt and after crossing the finish line I couldn’t stand up straight.

But who cares! The work was done and I was pumped to put in a good result.

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More pressing matters: I sat down with Doug Sumi, my main man, to ask him how a World Cup weekend goes before, during, and after. Doug starting on the road with the Jamis road team, has since moved to the Hincapie Citadel road team, and started wrench CX two years ago for Raleigh-Clement. He came to Europe last year as Caroline Manni’s mechanic for World Cups and her World Champ silver, so he knows the ropes in the Euro pits.

I asked him a whole bunch of questions to better help you all understand a bit more about working as a mechanic on the circuit. Listen to our conversation in the youtube video/slideshow below.

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I didn’t know how to embed an audio file so I had to make a picture slide show over the audio. Sorry in advance for the background noise… I am a hack and Doug was getting ready to head over to the service course while I was recording.

It’s off to Luxembourg on Wednesday! World Champs this weekend. Woot Woot!

Follow Kerry’s World Champs weekend on Instagram and look out for the update on his blog.

Kerry Werner on Eating Pizza, Dirt, and More Pizza at His First Euro CX Race

Kerry Werner’s first Euro CX race didn’t quite go according to plan. The conditions in Fiuggi, Italy were crazy slick and took out a lot of people! Expect a regular update from Kerry here on the Cog as he heads to CX Worlds and beyond.

The travel was smooth. CLT-IAD. IAD-Munich (a couple of Lunestas later). Munich-Rome! We met Rebecca and we were off to the mountains of Fiuggi.

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***Want hair like this? Tips soon to come. Just waiting for McTubbin so you can get all the knowledge and look lit like me!****

We spent the first night walking from one closed ristorante (pizzeria) to another. Finally we found a lit neon sign in a back alley, which proved fruitful, or rather pizzaful. Then Gelato… Because when in Rome, right?!

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Our Airbnb was great! Spacious, warm, no carpet, and plenty of room for lots of luggage.

We got to get out on course in Fiuggi Saturday, which was interesting. The course was set in a park at the base of a small hill, which cast a shadow over the entire course. The recent cold temps had the ground frozen as well as the many transitions from grass or gravel to pavement/sidewalk. It was sketchy. The woods sections were equally as sketchy as the grippy loose dirt on top was getting pushed off and all that was left was frozen, slick AF, ground that toe spikes were having trouble to puncture. Like peanut butter on glass!

I dropped tire pressure significantly over the preview laps and landed on 18psi front and 20psi rear, which is the lowest I have gone all year. The course was also slow because any speed meant braking and braking meant slipping. Finesse ruled fitness on this course, though having both was key!

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Sunday’s temps creeped into the upper 30s, Fahrenheit, and the women kicked it off first at 1:30pm. I caught the beginning of their race live in our house and quickly noted, “When in doubt, run it out”.

The course was only getting slicker as the women’s race went on and this trend continued throughout our race.

I had a 4th or 5th row call up and when the light turned green I found myself sitting in 21st on the first lap. I may have bitten off a bit more than I could chew and faded a bit but I was holding strong in the 30s toward the middle of the race.

I had a bad crash about 4-5 laps in. My front wheel washed out, my shifter grabbed a stake, and I was airborne. I got up with some scrapes on my knee, but more damaging, and a huge blow to my psyche. I tried to tell myself that everyone was crashing and I could recover from this by staying smooth but my body wouldn’t believe my head and I couldn’t get back into it.

Determined to finish I trudged on, gradually fading through the pack. With 2 laps to go I hit the deck hard again, or rather a tree then the deck. The same tree Toon Aerts hit with his shoulder, which looked like it exploded! I got my bell rung and the wind knocked out of me hard enough that I sat off the course with some spectators and a medic until I caught my breath, realized nothing was broken, and felt as though I could limp on.

A video posted by Kerry Werner (@kerryw24) on

The two minutes or so I sat off course was enough for Wout to catch up to me by the end of the lap and I was pulled, which I was grateful for. I got pulled right behind my fellow American Kevin Bradford-Peris, however, the medic must have radioed in my number as injured, and consequently, I was marked as a DNF in the results.

This race in my opinion was harder mentally than physically. Sure the course was slippery and treacherous at times but everyone was falling, except maybe Wout van Aert – but no one races him. The key was to not get bogged down mentally by minor slip ups and dabs. Over the race the course was getting more slippery and lines were constantly changing. Leaning your bike in corners was a no-no!

The mental part is where I struggled. I am in a good spot right now fitness wise but the hard crash in the middle of the race threw me off balance and I couldn’t regain composure after that. I lost my will to fight for every wheel and at the World Cup level that is detrimental to maintaining position, again, unless you are Wout… Apparently, he can have all the mishaps and still come from 20 back to win World Cups.

Once I realized I was not broken, the reality that my first Euro CX race will forever be marked as a DNF was a difficult pill to swallow. I drowned my sorrows in pizza and filled in the crevasses with gelato.

Struggling to pack my bags last night gave me a lot of time to think about how bad I want it at Hoogerheide this weekend. With every wince I concluded that I have three more Euro CX race weekends then Japan and I am determined to have a result I can be happy with. Plus, I didn’t end up like Toon. #silverlining

We spent Monday at the beach! Well… the ocean. And we didn’t stay long. It was 35ºF with big wind gusts… Climbing up in a small dock lighthouse tower yielded a good view over Fiumicino and a great place to watch planes touch down.

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Thanks to all those who caught the live stream. It means a lot to have support back home. Motivation to keep pushing! I’ll be aiming for more camera time next weekend so keep your eyes peeled for the orange and black!

Follow Kerry on Instagram and on his blog, and stay tuned to the Kona Instagram for updates as our riders head for the CX World Champs in Luxembourg.

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Introducing Amira Mellor and Team NEXT Wyman – Kona

Long time Kona Factory rider Helen Wyman is a fixture in the international cyclocross scene. With nine UK National Championships and two European titles to her name, she’s well decorated. Sitting on the UCI Cyclocross Commission, she is steering the direction of the sport, advocating for positive change and gender balance. And, beginning this year, Helen is formally passing on her experience through the NEXT Wyman – Kona development team.

The NEXT Wyman project was conceived by Helen as a way to help young racers bridge the gap between regional success and international competition. Making the jump from local races to the international scene is filled with logistical hurdles of travel and transport in addition to the expected challenges of competition such as training programs and nutrition.

C33A9745Long time Kona Factory team rider Helen Wyman.

C33A9765Team NEXT Wyman – Kona rider Amira Mellor.

Helen’s passion for her chosen discipline aligns with her desire to keep young women in the sport despite the additional challenges of going pro, and that’s where the NEXT Wyman project came from. Drawing on Helen’s career of international racing experience, the NEXT Wyman project aims to fast-track racers, helping with all of the little things that pop up day-to-day – so racers can focus more on racing, and less on logistics.

Here at Kona we were on board from the beginning: while Helen’s racing success is noteworthy, she is an ambassador for cycling in general and we’re happy to support her in this next phase of her career, where personal success and experience leads naturally into mentorship.

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Practice day prior to the World Cup race in Namur, Belgium.

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Getting prepped to race.

angus-sung-amira-natsFocus on the start line ahead of a silver medal performance at the 2017 UK under-23 National Championships. Photo: Angus Sung.

For the 2016-2017 cyclocross season, team NEXT Wyman – Kona brought on its first rider: former British Junior National Cyclocross Champion Amira Mellor. Over the season, we’ve seen Amira race in both the United States and throughout Europe, take her first victory in a UCI Cyclocross race, and land on the podium with a strong second place finish in the under-23 British Cyclocross National Championships.

UK Nationals - Credit Angus Sung - 2Amira on a classic ‘cross run-up at the 2017 UK National Championships. Photo: Angus Sung.

UK Nationals - Credit Angus Sung - 13UK National Championships. Photo: Angus Sung.

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In the familiar mud and muck of the UK. Photo: Craig Zadoroznyj.

NovaCross - Huw Williams 1Amira en route to her first UCI race win at NovaCross. Photo: Huw Williams.

Amira Mellor - NovaCross - Craig ZadoroznyjHard work paying off for Amira Mellor at NovaCross. Photo: Craig Zadoroznyj.

With a successful season of international racing under its belt, the NEXT Wyman project has great momentum. The next step for both Amira and Helen is representing their shared homeland of Britain at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Bieles, Luxembourg on January 28-29, 2017.

Keep up with Helen, Amira, and team NEXT Wyman – Kona:

Amira Mellor on Twitter and Instagram.
Helen Wyman on Twitter and Instagram.
Team NEXT Wyman on Twitter and Instagram.

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Amira’s cyclocross weapon, the Kona Jake the Snake CR.

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Matched to the NEXT Wyman kit.

C33A9627Kona hearts ‘cross.

Kona’s Amira Mellor 2nd at UK CX Nationals, Selected for UK Worlds Team Along with Helen Wyman

Kona riders Amira Mellor and Helen Wyman have both been selected to represent the UK at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Bieles, Luxembourg on January 28-29, 2017. Amira’s performance over the past few weeks shows the hard work of training under Helen and team NEXT Wyman – Kona paying off at the culmination of the international cyclocross season.

The UK National Championships were held this past weekend in Bradford, England. Following her first UCI victory the week previous, Amira went into the race confident, although the addition of the current World Under-23 Champion to the start list added a new dimension.

angus-sung-amira-natsAmira focused on the start line at UK Nationals, ahead of her silver medal performance. Photo: Angus Sung.

The grassy course at Peel Park had plenty of elevation change to sting the legs and the previous week’s rain had ensured it was a muddy and slippery event. A good start was followed by a frustrating half lap as Amira was caught behind some crashes. Ffion James and current U23 World Champion Evie Richards moved clear leaving Amira with a hard chase to get back in contention.

“I never really got an opportunity to see what I could do against Evie, which is frustrating, but to be honest, I don’t think she was beatable today. It was a tough lap to get back to Ffion, and from there my focus had to be on getting 2nd.  It’s great to get the silver medal; it’s a confidence boost ahead of the last World Cup and Worlds. It’s a big step forward from last season and shows the hard work is paying off.” – Amira Mellor

Amira and Helen are back to training mode in France, preparing for one more race before heading to Luxembourg to race alongside Kona teammate Kerry Werner. Follow Helen, Amira, team NEXT Wyman – Kona, and Kerry on Instagram as they make their way to the UCI Worlds in Luxembourg.

2017-uk-cx-worlds-team

Kona’s Kerry Werner to Represent Team USA at Cyclocross World Championships

It’s quite the honor to be chosen to represent one’s country at the World Championships of your respected discipline, and we’re happy to report that Kona Endurance Team rider Kerry Werner is headed to Luxembourg to represent Team USA. It’s nice to see Kerry’s consistent performance over the 2016-17 cyclocross season, including back to back UCI C2 wins, numerous C1 podiums, and a podium at USAC Nats paying off.

See the full list of riders headed to Luxembourg to represent Team USA at CX Hairs.