In the last four years, Kerry Werner has won the Pisgah Stage race overall twice, won the enduro category twice and finished third overall twice. After an epic cyclocross season where Kerry finished as the highest ranked UCI male athlete in the USA, he’d been taking it easy.

“Going into the race I was hoping to battle for a podium spot, but I had done zero intervals since the end of the cyclocross season. Stage 1 was going to be a test for me to see where I was at.”

The Pisgah consists of five epic stages raced over five days. There is over 20,000ft of climbing and racers cover around 140 miles during the event. The terrain is rugged, brutal and unforgiving and a few of the descents could easily qualify as EWS stages. After the first stage, Kerry knew he was out of touch for the win so switched his focus to finishing third and staying on the overall podium, but he also now adjusted his sights on notching up his third enduro win for the event.

“Once I knew I wasn’t in it for the top two spots (after stage one) I started focusing on the enduro. But I was keeping my eye on third. After day four I had whittled the gap to third to under a minute. Coming into stage 5 I knew I had to get in front of Travis, who was in third, before the final downhill (and enduro) that went into the finish. I just didn’t have the legs to do it and finished in fourth, still holding on to the enduro win.”