Fresh off his first-ever UCI cyclocross victory last weekend at the Super Cross Cup, Kerry Werner topped another UCI podium on day two of the 2014 Baystate Cyclocross race this past weekend in Sterling, MA. After finishing 10th on day one due to a crash, Werner was determined to find the podium on Sunday. Werner used the wet and muddy conditions to his advantage, staying upright in key moments on an incredibly technical course, while his top competition suffered mechanical issues. In his own words, Werner explained what it took to achieve victory.
With the weather almost 20º warmer on Sunday than Saturday, the day was shaping up to be wet and sloppy – a good time. I was excited after the pre-ride and amped for the start. I had a better start than yesterday and managed to make the lead group of 7. That was whittled down throughout the race and with about 4-5 laps to go it was just Dan Timmerman, Curtis White, and I. The conditions were treating everyone differently and I am positive that each of us went down at some point. With about 4 laps to go Dan dropped his chain – Curtis was off the front already. I bridged up to Curtis and rode the lap with him. He took a bike with 3 laps to go so I went to the front and put some pressure into a section just before the start finish. I heard the announcer get animated and I looked back and Curtis had a dropped chain so I put my head down and tried to hold it for the next two laps.
I managed to get a 10-14 second gap that was comfortable. However, about halfway through 2 laps to go I slipped on the off-camber run, landing hard; then the next off-camber section I managed to ping pong off the hard chain-link fencing – allowing Timmerman to close within 5 seconds. With Timmerman close and only 1 lap to go I knew I needed a perfect and fast lap. I was riding the first half of the lap great and maybe put a second or two into him but he was riding the second half great and he clawed to within 3-5 seconds at the second pit. Two long straights separated by a 180º hairpin remained, so I pinned it into the corner and went foot-out. Back in my pedals, I didn’t look back until I hit the finishing straight, realizing Dan was on my heels. I had just enough in the tank to hold him off but he sure made me work for it!
Simply put, these past couple weeks have been really, really fun. I feel like I’m starting to put all the pieces together at the right time, so that’s very exciting. I’m hoping to keep this good form going and to continue to represent my Orange & Black team with pride!
Photo © Dave McElwaine