Peloton Cafe || Jesse Kerrison (image copyright ESi Sports Photography)
By Ben Foster Jesse Kerrison or ?Kerro? as he?s more affectionately known within the Peloton, is one of the true nice guys. One of the guys who has always got a smile on his face, no matter how hot, wet or tough the conditions are. But, don?t let the pearly whites fool you, when it comes to laying down some serious wattage in an all-out bunchy, Kerro?s there to play for keeps. At only 19, he?s had his fair share solid results too, proving himself as one of the countries top Sprinters and fast paving his way to a successful international career. He?s taken multiple stage wins in the National Road Series already this year, his most recent being at Battle On The Border just last week. He wore the Young Riders blue jersey at the UCI 2.1 Tour of China last year and can certainly hold his own on the boards when he finds the time to get back on. We caught up with Kerro for a brew post Battle as he prepares for his next overseas leg, this time in the US of A. So, tell us how the first half of the year has gone, mate? Yeah, look, not too bad. If I?m honest, I would liked to have done better at Bay Crits, but my your form at that early part of the year is always pretty hit and miss. We then went through to Singapore OCBC Criterium where I was really hoping for a big result, but a run-in with a fence put a stop to that (laughs). One of the Italian guys ran me a little wide and the road got a little narrow? next thing I know I?m in the fence. (laughs) After that, things started looking up. We had the Adelaide Tour where I was able to take a stage win and the team was able to take the overall win, so we were really happy with that. Give us a bit more insight into the OCBC race. From what we?ve seen on TV it looks pretty mental! How?d it come about? Well, I think the invite came about due to some of the results Budget was able to get last year in some of the bigger Asian races we did. It was next-level racing though. Super hard, super fast, technical, massive crowd and just soooooo much fun. It?s always impressive getting to race in a different country with completely different culture. Sounds pretty intense! You?ve got some big races coming up, right? You?ve just finished Battle On The Border and then Toowoomba? Well, yes and no. We had Battle, which was tough, but I?m not actually doing Toowoomba now, as there?s a bunch of us from Budget heading to the USA and Canada for some racing. Wow! Sounds, great. Lets talk about Battle first, then we?ll get to the USA. You took a stage win, right?? Yeah, I managed to take the win on the second day. It?s a stage I said I wanted to win for a long time now and I was happy I was able to convert. It was a pretty bergy stage, but I knew it well and having the hometown advantage on it definitely help. My goal was to just get over the Hogans Loop with the bunch and I knew if I did that, I?d be in with a good shot. But, racing, actually, I?ll say riding for me (laughs), up Mount Warning the day before definitely took the sting out of my legs. That hill is just sooooooo big. That whole tour is a tough race, particularly for a sprinter. Then, on top of that, this year we really didn?t have favourable weather conditions. It was either bucketing rain, like it did most of the second day, or really hot. Still, we had a pretty good tour I reckon, and the team rode really well the whole week. I can?t wait to see what our guys that are staying will be able to do on that ultra-tough Toowoomba course. Nice work. Another stage win has gotta feel good. OK, so tell us about the USA trip, sounds like it?s going to be a great opportunity? Yeah, I can?t wait! We got the call up to do the Philly Classis, the Tour de Saguenay and the Tour of Beauce. I?ll be doing the first two and it?s my first time in the USA and Canada, which I?m really excited about. I?m keen to really test myself over there and have a good crack. Do you know much about the races? Well, Philly is a one-day race, 180km race with a 5-minute berg each lap and the finish on top of that same berg. On paper, it?s probably not a race for me, but man, what an experience anyway. I can?t wait! And what about Saguenay? That?s Canada, correct? Yeah, it?s in Canada. For me, looking at the event on paper, it looks much like a scaled down version of Battle On The Border. It?s not as hilly, mostly sprint stages. I?ll be really aiming towards that race and hoping for a good result, but we?ll see what it?s like when I get there, I guess. OK, awesome! What a brilliant mid-season trip for you. What?s the plans after that? Well, we come back To Australia and I?ve got a pretty busy end to the year. We?ve got a few races in China again, plus all the regular NRS ones with Murray, Gippsland and the Warny again. We had a big result as a team there last year, so we?d love to emulate it again. For me though, I?m really targeting the races in China and see what I can do there. What?s it like racing in China? It?s a pretty different place. It?s UNBELIEVABLE. You rock up to the start, you?ll roll away from the start line and within 1km you?re on an eight-lane highway that they?ve completely shut down just for the race. It?s always fast, it?s crazy and each and every riding is giving it everything they?ve got to be at the front. Throw in all the weird foods, the awesome people, the atmosphere and the travel and it makes for an interesting trip to say the least. Mate, so you had some big results last year and you?ve already clocked some good ones this year? the big question, Europe next year? I?d like to say that?s the plan. I think the results I had last year and so far this year have helped to put my name in front of a few of the teams, but I think my job now is to really cement that with another year of good results. That?s the way I?m looking at it anyway. I need to do the job right here first, before I get ahead of myself and start worrying about next year. So, can you let us know who any of those teams might be? (laughs) Look, it?s really too early to say anything yet. I can say we?re in talks with some, but it?s so early on and it?s purely just talks, there?s absolutely nothing concrete on the table yet. As I said, my job this year is to ride for Budget, who have been absolutely brilliant to me and my goal is to return that support to them to the best of my ability. I?d love to be in Europe one day though, I think it?s every competitive cyclists dream? it?s where the history is, the best riders in the world, the best races and it?s really the pinnacle of the sport, so to say I?m not thinking about it would be a lie, but for now, I?m focused on what?s in front of me. Awesome, mate. Let?s talk about Budget. You?re in your second year with them right? You look pretty happy there and they seem like a great fit for you. I can?t speak highly enough of the entire Budget Team. If I do ever head to Europe, the hardest part for me would be saying goodbye to those guys. As soon as I came into the team I felt like I was part of the family. Everyone?s got each others backs, it?s fun, and we all ride really well together. There?s no animosity between any of the riders and we?re all willing to absolutely lay it on the line for each other. I?m stoked to be a part of it and couldn?t ask for a better group of mates. Awesome, mate. Thanks for the brew and enjoy the US of A.?