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Q&A: Kerry Werner is tuned up for the 2021-22 ‘cross season

The 2020 Pan American champion has been dipping his toes into gravel to prepare for the coming cyclocross season.

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Kerry Werner (Kona Maxxis Shimano) is the Pan-American Champion. The 30-year-old from Roanoke, Virginia has a background is in mountain bike racing, but in the fall his focus switches to cyclocross.

How have you been keeping busy during the off-season?

I’ve been keeping busy by dipping my toes in the gravel waters. I haven’t done much gravel racing this year but a few bigger events. Specifically, Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder in June and lately my first Belgian Waffle Ride. Both were good times but the Waffle Ride was especially fun being in Asheville. I have a bunch of friends there so it was sick to catch up with people and I got fourth, which was rad.


Also read: Cyclocross — What is it, where did it come from, and how to start racing


How’s the CX training going? Any changes to the way you’ve prepared for the season?

CX training has been going well. I switched over to doing CX-specific stuff in August and just wrapped up my CX clinic on Labor Day, which was just as much for me as it was for the attendees. I started working with Chris McGovern of Forever Endurance and we have been doing a bunch more volume this year, and not as much intensity. So I am really eager to see how that plays out for me at the season opener but more importantly how it impacts my season as a whole.

What are your targets for this coming season?

The first six weeks. It’s six weekends in a row, first my hometown race of GoCross so I want to win that real bad. Then two C1 ranked races followed by three World Cups, and two more C1s before a bit of a break. So a really heavy start. I am looking forward to my first Iceman Cometh MTB race in November, then NCGP. Then I have a big focus on defending the Pan-American Champion stripes and going hard at Nationals. I have some unfinished business there.


Also read: Get your mud on — Cyclocross 2021-22 season preview


Which courses/races are your favorites?

I like Jinglecross because it has a huge crowd and the course suits me as well. It’s technical and has a lot of elevation change. I am really interested to see what they come up with at Nationals and Cincy is always a favorite of mine as well.

Do you have any equipment upgrades for the coming season?

The Kona Maxxis Shimano Team is on Kona Major Jakes kitted out with shiny Dura-Ace wheels, Maxxis tires, and Shimano GRX Di2. Nothing new but an incredibly solid platform that I have gotten extremely comfortable with over the last two years. My rig is ready to fight this season for sure.