My First Big Race: Trackfest 05 -- Racing
Woohoo!! My first time in a 'big' race, with dozens of people watching...how exciting! (I must admit, i miss taking pictures...but didn't really have time to focus on that. Thanks to Brandon for snapping a few shots, several which are featured in my write-up.)
Sprint from the Miss'n'Out!
The program had changed a little, i was expecting a Keirin in there, but it was ousted for a short Scratch race instead...i'd have rather done the Keirin's, short Scratches are my nemesis.....
Also, i'd planned to race in the 'A' category, but only four 'B's' signed-up, so several 'newer' A's transferred over...couldn't let those four guys keep the $400 in prizes to themselves!!
Onto the races for Rider #12!!
15 Lap Scratch (fyi: lap = 333m)
Feeling out the pack in the Points race.
So, 6th place in my first 'big' event! Not my type of race tho...i was just starting to get my engine running.... I think i need to do a hard warm-up before these events.
Chariot Race (one lap, all-out)
Not sure if i favor the shorter Scratch or a Chariot.... Due to my smaller gear preference, i can pick up speed quite quickly, but i'm not so great at maintaining it...
In this race, Marcus and Jeremy peeled off pretty quickly, and knowing the wind was gonna torch me, i did all i could to stick to their wheels....which is what i did! Resulted in a surprising 3rd place finish, yay me! Hit 58kph in this as well, my highest speed of the event.
Track Racing is all about suffering.
Who can suffer the most....
Last year, i had one strategy for this race, which actually worked pretty well: stick to the red line. I'd ride one 'lane' up, right at the front, and just hold it....keep people from passing me, but not do too much more. I don't think i can't get away with this now tho, without getting floored later in the race.
This time i played around, some laps i was in the front, some laps i drafted.... People were quickly eliminated, tho it seemed to me i was a bit of a target and several blocks were attempted...who knows... ;) ...and with Marcus out of the race with a flat, i ended up in the final three with Jeremy and Sarah... I think i ended up pulling a bit too much earlier in the race, because when they took off, i basically waved good-bye! In addition, my rear wheel did something strange every time i really hit the pedals, which wigged me out...so i didn't pursue too hard.
That was another 3rd placement for me, yay!! I'm liking this racing thing!
54 Lap Points Race
The view i prefer to leave people with, to crush and demoralize them. (When i can.)
I talked with Sarah beforehand, and we agreed to 'go long' together, and try to get away...we were going to wait until after the first bell lap, then maintain speed and break!
Come the bell lap, i was up near the front of the pack, so i believe i scored 1pt for a 4th. Sarah and i started a small break, but the rest of the pack quickly caught us, so we abandoned that for now, to try again later..
Next bell happened, and i was positioned kind of poorly, so didn't get any points, but thought that might be another good time to break.... Again, picked-up speed, had a few tag-a-longs, but the pack were onto us, and there was not much else to be done.
Again, sat in the next few laps, i kept working the paceline, keeping the intensity high. Come the bell lap, i was at the front of the line, and so hammered, and got those sweet 5pts to myself, yip!! I kept pedaling, and suddenly Marcus was with me, and the pack was several bike lengths back.... He says 'wanna go?' and i'm like 'hell yeah!'
So we do. =)
Matt yells out "Challenge him!!" - yeah right, if i had massive legs like you!
Marcus is a stronger rider than me, so the first bell on our break i didn't bother contesting him at all. He'd done some good hard pulls, and positioned himself to take the harder (read: windy) ones as well.
Second bell on the fly, i gave it up as well. I felt like i was maintaining a high pace, and prolly didn't have too much more juice in me. As seen in the photo, Matt came out and yelled 'contest him!!'
Next bell, i decided i'd give it a go...came around the corner, got out of the saddle and tried to pick up the pace! I held him off to the line, but he got it. Crap.
Last lap, he bolted right by the bell, and i had no chance... In retrospect however, i see now that i *should* be trying harder for these... Letting him do a little more pulling, and trying to grab the points. (In last Thursday's race, i might have done a fair bit better, and even had a chance, since Dave was riding a considerably bigger gear, and if i made a little jump near the line, i might have had a chance..)
My main concern was that the pack behind us would catch us....but that doesn't really make sense, since we're attacking, picking up speed, then settling back into our previous pace. I guess i'm afraid that i won't be able to maintain that pace after an attack, but hey - that's bike racing!! I will try to be more adventurous in the future...good lesson learned.
So..i challenge him!
What a great day, and such great people to race with. The A's really put out, and were amazing to watch. I'm actually glad i ended up riding with the B's, because i don't think i would have had it in me to even ride with these guys. (Maybe last Thu...)
Looking forward to checking out the Bastion Square Crit tomorrow as well, got some friends to cheer on. =)
'Challenge him' photo..
..the words haven't hit my brain yet..haha
And the final image of the day, Brandon caught Marcus and i as we're breaking away, and you can see the shadows of the other riders: