It was an amazing start to the year for Jesse Kerrison. Coming off a stint in Europe in 2015 with the BMC Development Team, ‘Kerro’ was eager to do well for new team State of Matter MAAP Racing. He admits to being nervous at the start of the season, but all that was put to bed just six days into the year. On January 6th, Jesse sprinted to victory in the U23 National Criterium Championship, comfortably beating out his rivals thanks to a strong team performance.
It was a massive start to the year for not only Jesse and the other riders in the team, but for us at MAAP. Our first experience being involved at NRS level and we had a National Champs jersey in the first week!
With a delayed start to the NRS schedule seeing a lot of riders and teams heading overseas (State of Matter MAAP included), the local racing kicks off again this week. We caught up with Jesse to present him with his jersey and find out a bit more about what it means to him.
“It means a huge amount to me. The biggest thing I took from the title was confidence, after a pretty rough 2015 both mentally and physically, there was some lingering doubts about myself coming into the start of the season.
I guess it's every cyclist's dream to be able to wear a National Championship jersey. I think I'm very lucky to get the opportunity, especially with the design team at MAAP designing the kit! I just hope I do the jersey proud, and I can't wait to give the elite title a crack next year.”
Team owner Leigh Parsons spoke about the plan for Jesse in 2016 “Jesse and I had been speaking for a year or so about joining. He took the opportunity to join BMC's development team, but after struggling with their program, he joined with State of Matter with a view of winning the U23 National Crit title, which he did, and now we are aiming at him winning the NRS overall standings. Our vision is that by achieving this he will be able to use our team as a launch pad into the world tour.”
Jesse has continued his January form throughout the year, recently grabbing a podium at the notoriously difficult Tour of Qinghai Lake in China. “I think our team has a huge shot at winning a lot of races over the coming months, and with a bit of luck we'll be able to do so. Personally I want to try and take one thing out of each tour, whether that be a stage win or jersey I'm not sure, I try and take it day by day with the NRS tours, as the short hectic style of racing means anything can happen.”
What else is there to know about Kerro? He’s a self confessed Haribo addict; his love of the gummy treats is what he believes stops him being able to climb!
For the best insight, we asked his close friend and teammate Mike Cuming to give us some thoughts on him “Jesse's a top class teammate and bloke, we got to know each other quite well being stuck in a hotel room in Lanzhou (China) for 7 days with bouts of stomach flu! If i didn't have him (and his laptop for movies) I would have jumped out of our 9th floor window. In all seriousness, we all know he's a great bike rider and will do the stripes proud. He will go on to win many more races, that's for sure".
All images courtesy of Harry Dennis.
UPDATE: In the first Stage of the National Road Series 'Tour of Great South Coast' Jesse had the chance to wear his kit in the criterium. Here's the winning photo, courtesy of Con Chronis. See more images from the TOGSC here.