This past weekend the North American cyclocross season kicked off in earnest with a pair of UCI C2 races in Virginia. As expected, the mens races were dominated by Kerry Werner and Curtis White. While the season is young, we came up with three insightful conclusions that are 100% correct.
Road racing is dead.
Do you want to be a top notch cross racer? Then head to the dirt. This weekend’s winners, Kerry Werner and Curtis White, spent the offseason racing gravel and mountain bikes. Sure they each hopped in a local crit or two, but it is clear that road racing no longer leads to great cross riders. Werner spent the summer riding his mountain bike and doing a variety of races which lead to his success this weekend. Similarly, White gave up road racing to focus solely on cross. That, combined with his gravel riding and racing over the summer gave him the edge he needed this weekend. The bottom line: sell your road bike, throw some gravel tires on your cross bike and ride your mountain bike every once in a while. If you do that, you will be a great cross racer.
Kerry Werner and Curtis White will dominate in Rochester.
White will win the C1 on Saturday and Werner will win the C2 on Sunday in Rochester. Last year White did not race, but based on this past weekend’s results he is on form. Werner finished on the podium bot days last year and logic says he will continue to improve and win on Sunday. Both riders finished nearly at the same time this past weekend while putting two minutes into the rider in third. They are the head of the class right now. Last year Stephen Hyde won both days and should come in flying. While he will be in contention for the win, White and Werner will get the better of him.
We know who will win nationals.
We now know who will win the men’s Elite, U23 and Junior races at US Nationals. While White and Werner were neck and neck this past weekend, we know White will win the National Championship. He was second last year and now is his time. Lane Maher finished 23rd on Saturday and 6th on Sunday in the Elite men’s race. Maher will turn 19 in October and should continue to be one of the top U23 riders in North America. He will win the national title in December. Finally, look no further than Andrew Strohmeyer in the Junior men’s field. He won Saturday’s race and finished second behind Denmark’s Tobias Lund Andersen on Sunday. Strohmeyer raced in all the Junior UCI races in North America last year and was always in contention for the podium. He also raced a pair of World Cups and the World Championships in Europe. That experience will pay dividends this year and he will bring home a National Championship.