Couple who moved to Roanoke because of Go Cross set to compete this weekend

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 5:22 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - If you’re not familiar with the sport of cyclocross, this weekend is the perfect time to take notice.

“Anyone who hasn’t seen it, I always describe it kind of like a cross country running course, but you’re riding on it,” explains rider Emily Werner. “It’s not technical like mountain biking, but not like riding on the road. It’s just a good mix.”

Go Cross is a two-day event featuring races for competitors of all skill levels from beginners to the pros.

Emily and Kerry Werner are both professional riders and this weekend kicks off the international racing calendar for them and many others.

“We’ll race all over the country until December, Nationals are in Chicago, and then we’ll go to Europe for like a month,” said Emily.

Kerry started mountain biking at age 15 before going pro in his early 20s and switching over to cyclocross eight years ago.

He’s taken home the title at Go Cross the last two years.

“Trying to keep that streak alive would be really cool,” said Kerry.

Inspired by their dad who rode professionally, Emily and her twin sister began riding cyclocross when they were 10.

“I consider myself really lucky because I get to go to all the races with Kerry, my husband, and also my parents come to a lot. My dad is retired, so my parents have an RV, so he brings it to all of our races and drives all of our stuff around, so basically it’s like I’m home on the road,” said Emily.

Although they travel a lot, Emily and Kerry now call Roanoke home.

They moved here last year from Winston-Salem, NC after first experiencing the Star City through competing in previous Go Cross races.

“The main reason that we moved here was just because of how cool Roanoke is in terms of doing events like this. The cycling community here is really big and really welcoming, so that was really cool,” said Kerry.

“We just really love it here,” added Emily. “We love the mountains. The riding community has been really great. I’ve been really impressed with the bike lanes, the bike path system, and just like how many people ride and are so passionate about it.”

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