Wherry's extended lease - Part I
Current USPRO champion Chris Wherry (Toyota-United Pro) has been an elusive Captain America this year at many of the major North American races, but it hasn't been by choice. After suffering through the first races of the season with a nasty viral infection Wherry was sidelined for three months - leaving races like the Tour of California and Tour de Georgia without the USPRO champion; and although he's made a slow comeback, Cyclingnews' Mark Zalewski found out that it's now all systems go for America's national champion.
For a time it seemed that the stars and stripes might not get a chance to display his hard-earned jersey, but the cycling gods smiled on Wherry and conveniently moved the USPRO championships three months later in the calendar. Wherry beat the bug and began his season racing smaller stage races like Tour of the Gila and Joe Martin, carefully monitoring his fitness before returning to defend his title in Philadelphia with a view to defending his national championship in September.
You have to look rather carefully to notice the differences between Chris Wherry's USPRO champion's kit and bike to his Toyota-United Pro teammates. A cynical person might even argue that the team did this in a dark foreshadow to Wherry's ailment, so that fans would think the USPRO champion was in the field somewhere.
But in a cosmic turn of events Wherry is getting his chance to race a full season with his jersey, thanks to the new date of the USPRO championships. And he is not wasting his health - even taking his situation as a sign that his title defence is the most important goal for him. "It would have been a bummer to only be representing the jersey for a month or so. I did wear it at the beginning of the season, but not at 100%. I really want to wear it when I can show what made me the champion last year," he explains.
Click here for the full first part of the interview.