North Carolina resident Kerry Werner (Kona Factory CX Team) took the win for a second consecutive day in the elite men's race at Hunter Subaru North Carolina Grand Prix (NCGP).
The final podium was pretty much in place after the first lap, Werner followed by Eric Thompson (MSPEEDWAX.COM) and Tristan Cowie. It was Cowie who tried his hand at the front early by winning the hole shot.
"I wanted to get the hole shot and push hard in the first lap," said, the NC rider, who was the only pro to ride The Wall the entire race. “I wanted to try to get a gap on everybody so I could ride my own race, ride my own pace. It was a little slicker today than yesterday. Just trying to stay on your toes and find some new lines. I got out front for a little bit and made a few mistakes and got shuffled back."
Cowie lost his position on the second lap with a miscue in the pits, allowing Merwin Davis (Cycle-Smart Inc.) of Boone to pass. Two more laps in and Cowie caught Davis to chase down the two leaders. All riders were trying to find the right lines in the mud.
"In pre-ride, it was pretty obvious that everywhere you rode yesterday you didn’t ride today, just because of all the ruts from yesterday had frozen overnight,” said Werner. "It wasn’t so bad during our race because It thawed a little bit more. But it was interesting. It was about where you could pedal, and where you could maintain speed, and stay smooth all race."
By the bell lap there were no more wheels to follow to find the right lines, only gaps forming and the finish line getting closer. Werner was in charge, followed by Thompson and a charging Cowie.
"I wanted to be in the top five at the start, and I was," Werner recapped of the race. "There was quickly a group of three and Eric and I managed to get away for the middle of the race. With three to go, I managed to get away from Eric. I tried to maintain a smooth race and not really slip out or go too hard where I was going to be messing up in the technical sections. It worked out in the end."
Thompson would improve one spot on the podium from Saturday and move up to second. Cowie improved from fifth on Saturday and finished third. Davis would ride in for fourth, and Winston-Salem’s Travis Livermore (Maxxis/Shimano) would take fifth.
"Kerry started floating away," said Thompson, who earned his seventh ProCX podium of the year. "I wanted to try my hand at sticking with him and working with him to stay at the front of the race as best as possible. After a few laps, and three to go, he started gapping a bit. I was just trying my best to just stick in there. I ended up loosing his wheel, but did my best to keep it smooth and keep second place.”
The Hunter Subaru NCGP, which is part of the North Carolina Cyclo-Cross Series powered by OrthoCarolina, was one of the two season-ending races for ProCX. The other races to conclude the ProCX season were held in Garland, Texas at the Resolution Cross Cup.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Kerry Werner (USA)||0:54:58|
|2||Eric Thompson (USA)||0:00:25|
|3||Tristan Cowie (USA)||0:00:46|
|4||Merwin Davis (USA)||0:01:00|
|5||Travis Livermon (USA)||0:01:13|
|6||Byron Rice (USA)||0:02:15|
|7||Caleb Swartz (USA)||0:02:26|
|8||Alex Ryan (USA)||0:02:52|
|9||Richard Cypress Gorry (USA)||0:03:13|
|10||Bradford Perley (USA)||0:03:20|
|11||Isaac Neff (USA)||0:03:57|
|12||Cade Bickmore (USA)||0:04:44|
|13||Samuel Kieffer (USA)||0:05:12|
|14||Michael Landry (USA)||0:05:49|
|15||Andrew Giniat (USA)||0:06:19|
|16||Garret Thompson (USA)|
|17||Jon Okenfuss (USA)|
|18||Lucas Livermon (USA)|
|19||Alistair Sponsel (USA)|
|DNF||Keith Mullaly (USA)|
|DNS||Cooper Willsey (USA)|
|DNS||Anders Nystrom (USA)|
|DNS||Ryan Gamm (USA)|
|DNS||Scott Myers (USA)|