DCCX: Gilbert and Werner go two-for-two

Racing wraps up in the nation's capital with Sunny Gilbert and Kerry Werner each riding to solo victories.

Following up their wins on Saturday, Sunny Gilbert (Van Dessel) and Kerry Werner (Kona) won day two of DCCX at the Armed Forces Retirement Home on the north side of Washington, D.C.

With his win, Werner took the overall Parkway CX Trophy. Gilbert nearly won the women’s title but couldn’t quite overtake Rebecca Fahringer (Kona).

Gilbert overcomes an early crash

Sunny Gilbert
Sunny Gilbert rode solo to victory on day two of DCCX. Photo: Bruce Buckley

Three-time DCCX winner Arley Kemmerer (Fearless Femme) hit out first in the women’s race, taking the holeshot. Gilbert wasted no time moving to the head of the field, but she slid out on a corner soon thereafter.

“I had a great start. We were all riding well. It was fast,” said Gilbert. “I was right behind Arley [Kemmerer], and then I passed Arley. Then we hit a loose corner and I just laid the bike down. Six or seven women passed me. I got up, made sure the chain was still on, and just jumped back on my bike. I was just patient and found my opening on one of the off-camber corners. I passed four women on the inside and then we had a race.”

After things settled down, Gilbert, Fahringer, and Kemmerer were at the front.

By the halfway point, Kemmerer had faded out of the picture, and that’s when Fahringer had some troubles of her own.

First, the Kona rider flatted, forced to ride the rim to the pit.

“I haven’t flatted in three years. I flatted and had to ride it for a while, drifted back to Sunny coming in with one to go,” said Fahringer about her mishap on the course. “I pitted. It was a slow exchange.”

She found herself about 10-15 seconds behind. Fahringer put in a big effort and came within about three seconds of Gilbert, but then disaster struck again.

“I was within three seconds, and the same reason I crashed yesterday, I got excited about winning a bike race,” Fahringer said. “I slid out and hit my rear derailleur, which went into crash mode. After that, it was just fighting for the series. I managed to eke out a podium.”

Caroline Nolan (Voler-Easton) out-sprinted Fahringer for second place, about 17 seconds behind Gilbert.

“I just felt super flat the first two laps and then the third lap in, I think it was the prime lap, everything started clicking,” said Nolan, who finished third on Saturday. “I started feeling confident on my lines. And then the last lap, I was able to capitalize on every little climb and get a little bit ahead. Things just worked out.”

Werner wins sixth DCCX in a row

Kerry Werner
Kerry Werner is untouchable at DCCX. Photo: Bruce Buckley

In a remarkable show of consistency, Werner won his sixth consecutive DCCX in the men’s race, following up 2016 and 2017 when he also swept the weekend races.

Werner took the lead from the gun and was joined by Travis Livermon (The Endurance Collective) and Eric Thompson (MSpeedwax).

“Right at the start, got the holeshot and settled in. The front group established itself, Travis, Eric, and I.

The trio rode together for the first two laps but after that, Werner took control of the race, riding off the front alone to win the prime lap.

“Instead of the prime being on the first lap, it was on the third lap,” he said. “My goal was to get the prime, $250. So I sent it really hard and just opened up a big gap. It came out to over 15 seconds, so I just kept the throttle on.”

In part, he was able to make his move because he rode all of the course’s features, not dismounting a single time.

“One thing I was proud of was not getting off my bike at all this race, which was cool,” said Werner.

Werner said he also thought the windy conditions made it difficult for Livermon and Thompson to cooperatively chase him down.

“With the wind today, once I had a bit of a gap, I knew that Travis and Eric weren’t going to come after me, they were going to play games with each other because nobody would do work in the headwind,” Werner added. “I kind of knew once I had that gap that it would be me, unless something weird happened.”

Thompson out-sprinted Livermon for second but in the waning laps, he almost cracked.

“[Livermon] put down an unreal two-to-go lap, and I almost lost him,” said Thompson. “It took everything to just hold his wheel. Luckily, it came down to where I wanted to go, right before the pavement.”

Livermon said it was demoralizing to put in a massive effort and not drop his rival.

“I gave it everything I could with two to go. I didn’t shake Eric, so that kind of blew my confidence a little bit,” Livermon said. “But I kept trying. And then it came down to the sprint. He passed me right before we hit the pavement. I couldn’t believe he passed me, coming into the pavement and the wind. We opened up the sprint and I pulled out of my pedal, and that was it. I don’t know if I would have got him or not, but it would have been a lot closer.”