Orange & Black rider Kerry Werner claimed his first-ever UCI victory on day two of the Super Cross Cup in Stony Point, NY, improving on his 3rd place finish from day one. Coincidentally, Werner outkicked Dan Timmerman (House Industries/Simplehuman) and newly signed Optum p/b KBS road rider Curtis White (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) who finished 3rd. Kerry claimed his first-ever UCI podium two weeks ago at Iowa’s Jingle Cross.
“My fitness level is beginning to come around after a tough start to the season. I earned my first UCI podium last weekend, and now my first UCI victory, so I’m excited to continue my good form heading into my big late season goals,” said Werner.
After bridging across to Timmerman and White with three laps to go, Werner made his “now or never” attack midway through the last lap and held his advantage to the finish.
Read Werner’s own words on a memorable weekend of racing in New York.
It all started with an overnight drive from Iowa City, IA to Winston Salem, NC on Sunday night, and well into Monday morning. I spent the week recovering from that adventure and the three days of racing in 20° weather at Jingle Cross.
On Friday, Emily and I drove from Winston to my parents house in Pennsylvania where we stayed the night, repacked, re-organized, and got some sleep prior to driving 2.5 hours north to Stony Point, NY on Saturday morning for the race.
We arrived just before eleven and I was all smiles. Last year the weather was 30° or just below 30° with high winds, which cut through all layers of clothing like a knife. This year it was 40° and sunny – perfect racing conditions!
After pre-riding the course, I was even more excited to race. The ground had been frozen all week and the warm weather was causing some sloppy corners – my favorite conditions; Dry weather but a slick course. My Challenge Limuses were definitely the tire of choice.
I lined up at 2pm for the start of the Elite Men’s race and the gun cracked. I got off to an okay start. Top five, until the first left-hander off the pavement into the grass. Someone laid it over in the middle of the field and I couldn’t get around it. I came out of that in roughly 15th and with the front of the race still in sight I knew I had to get up there, and fast, before they (Dan Timmerman and Cameron Dodge) decided to check out.
I spent the first two laps getting back to the front then the next two settling in. I was really enjoying the course. It had some fun slippery technical sections, which I am sure everyone fell on (except Dan Timmerman) at some point during the race. I tried to apply some pressure in the technical section when I could, but in the end it came down to Dan, Cameron, and I. Dan applied some pressure with two to go and Cameron and I came off a bit. Cameron was able to put his head down and bridge the gap. I think I spent a couple matches at the beginning of the race chasing the front-runners and I was left with an empty tank on the last lap. I rode it in for third.
After a quick stop at doping control it was back to the hotel for some great dinner my dad packed and relaxation. Mom, Dad, and I also went to the larger than life shopping mall next to the hotel to try on some Xmas presents…
The next day, I slept in as late as I could, skipped a morning spin, packed up the car, and headed to the course for day two.
I was determined to climb a step or two today; I wasn’t sure how easy that was going to be considering Curtis White showed up fresh for day two.
Day two was another 2pm start time. I had another less than ideal start. After some bobbles remounting after the barriers and the steps I came through the end of lap 1 in 10th. Again, Timmerman and Curtis were off the front. It took three or four laps to start to bring them back. I didn’t make contact with them until about 3 to go. Those guys were slugging it to each other, and me, I was trying to be consistent and not do too much work in order to save a little bit for the end of the race.
With the three of us off the front I knew a podium was attainable but I wanted more. We came into the last lap and hit the first sloppy turn. Curtis applied some pressure, bobbled and slowed the both of them up. I managed to get around the bobble and hit the steep run or ride up in the lead. I managed to ride it. I looked back and had a small gap. It was a “now or never” type of situation. So I put my head down for half a lap and came through the second pit with about 5 second gap on Dan and Curtis another 5 seconds back. I had the hardest fitness sections ahead of me so I buried myself! I managed to hold the gap, though I felt Dan breathing down my neck the whole second half of the lap. One bobble would have connected us. I hit the pavement first and rode into my first UCI win of the season.
I couldn’t have been happier to do it with my parents there and at such a cool race. I have done Super Cross the last three years and always enjoy it. Myles Romanow puts on a good race and always manages to get the Wafels & Dinges Truck at the race, which is definitely a plus and tastes so much better after a win.
Now it’s off to Sterling and then reuniting with the team in Warwick! But first it’s Turkey Day! Have a good one!
Photo © Marco Quezada