In Part I of Mark Zalewski's interview with Chris Wherry they spoke about the reigning USPRO champion's illness and consequent late start to racing in 2006, something this year's Captain America has dealt with well. In Part II of their chat, Wherry speaks about changes to the USPRO Championship, Health Net and his aspirations for this year and beyond with Toyota-United Pro.
Those streets of Philadelphia
While Wherry is benefiting from the fact that the USPRO is three months later, he's still a little nostalgic about winning it in Philly, which is no longer possible. "It's a race that has a spot in my heart now. It's one of those races I'll always want to do well at. I've had some good rides there in the past, and last year it finally all came together. I do have mixed feelings about the USPRO championship not being [in Philly.] Obviously it means a lot to me to race in Philadelphia now, and I would like to have a good race there on Sunday. But it is also a positive sign that we can have a good American-only championship. That's an indicator that the sport is alive and well here in America."
"I am happy that these guys got Philly together even at the last minute because it is such a great race. It would have been a huge loss to American cycling to lose the week of racing. We already lost San Francisco, and yeah, Tour of California stepped in which is a huge bonus for the early part of the season - but to lose New York and San Francisco...if we'd lost this [Philly] things would have been tough," he says.
With one race of the series down, Wherry believes that having only one ProTour team represented isn't such a bad thing for the racing. "If Lancaster is any indication of what this week will be like, the races seem almost harder to me," he says. "It was so aggressive in Lancaster - constant attacks. I'm sure it's going to be like that on Thursday night, and the race in Philadelphia will force some to conserve because of the distance. I'm sure it will be a more active race than usual."
Click here for the second part of the interview